On his new HBO show “Shop Talk” Lebron James say’s NFL owners have a “slave mentality” and have no patience for athletes actually expressing themselves. He also calls them “a bunch of old white men owning teams”. This sentiment is shared by many, especially those that care about the racial injustice issue in the US.
This year the NFL decided to officially ban players from protesting police brutality and racial injustice by forcing them to stand, or stay in the locker room until the national anthem is over. This new rule is likely a violation of these athletes’ constitutional rights, but as of yet, there are no legal challenges to the new rule.
In the interview, Lebron also mentioned how much better the lines of communication are in the NBA vs the NFL, and he gave a lot of credit to NBA Commissioner Adam Silver. Lebron says that Silver doesn’t mind that players have actual feelings and opinions about certain things, and supports them expressing themselves.
There are those that believe the racist attitudes coming from NFL owners can only be combated by more minorities gaining ownership stakes in teams. However, minority ownership in the NBA isn’t much better than the NFL, though it may feel like it is – there are only a few owners of color, not even a hand full. The real difference, as it can be with any business, is management – what kind of leadership is at the top and how their management style spreads through the organization. On this issue it looks like Adam Silver is doing the job, and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is not.
We’ll be checking to see if Lebron James drops any more bombs on the NFL. Until next time guys…