Jackson rips Gilbert’s LeBron comments
CHICAGO — Jesse Jackson criticized Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert on Sunday, saying Gilbert sees LeBron James as a “runaway slave” and that the owner’s comments after the free-agent forward decided to join the Miami Heat put the player in danger.
“ His feelings of betrayal personify a slave master mentality. He sees LeBron as a runaway slave. This is an owner employee relationship — between business partners — and LeBron honored his contract.
” — Rev. Jesse Jackson on Cavs owner Dan Gilbert’s comments about LeBron James
Shortly after James announced his decision last week, Gilbert fired off an incendiary letter to Cleveland’s fans, ripping the 25-year-old and promising to deliver a title before James wins one. He called James’ decision “cowardly” and later told The Associated Press he believes James quit during a handful of Cavaliers playoff games.
“He has gotten a free pass,” Gilbert told the AP in a phone interview late Thursday night. “People have covered up for [James] for way too long. Tonight we saw who he really is.”
Jackson said Gilbert’s comments were “mean, arrogant and presumptuous.”
“He speaks as an owner of LeBron and not the owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers,” the reverend said in a release from his Chicago-based civil rights group, the Rainbow PUSH Coalition. “His feelings of betrayal personify a slave master mentality. He sees LeBron as a runaway slave. This is an owner employee relationship — between business partners — and LeBron honored his contract.”
Messages were left Sunday night seeking comment from Gilbert, the Cavaliers and James.
Jackson also called Gilbert’s comments an attack on all NBA players and said the owner should face a “challenge” from the league and the players’ association.
NBA spokesman Tim Frank declined comment.
When will people like the Reverend Jackson stop this stupid game and just be humans. This guy sees oppression everywhere. Maybe the Owner felt betrayed by LeBron. Maybe the guy never even got the chance to talk contract. This BS about slavery is just pathetic. Jackson should just shut up and go away. Maybe find a church to run and let the world evolve as it has been. He is a has-been and ought to realize it. Who is next Sharpton? He is a stalwart truth teller too……