LeBron James has a new show on HBO that is all about culture, sports, and more called The Shop. It’s based on what it’s like to be sitting around a barber shop, being open and candid with discussions, and he adds celebrity friends. In a preview, the NBA superstar revealed how challenging it was to go from growing up in an underprivileged black neighborhood to suddenly being thrust into an all-white environment for the first time when he was recruited to play basketball at an Akron, OH Catholic school. St. Vincent-St. Mary High School had almost no black students and it was incredibly jarring for him at first, which he revealed on the new series. Unfortunately, some people aren’t grasping that he was just being real about the experience and are calling him out on Twitter as a borderline racist.
“I went to an all-white high Catholic school. So when I first went to the ninth grade I was like ‘I’m not f**king with white people.’ Cause I was so institutionalized growing up in the hood that I was like ‘They don’t f**k with us. They don’t want us to succeed.’ So I’m like ‘I’m going to this school to play ball, and that’s it. I don’t want anything to do with white people.’ I don’t believe they want anything to do with me. Me and my boys, we’re going to high school together and we’re here to hoop,” the 33-year-old candidly revealed.
“So that was my initial thoughts and initial shock to white America for the first time when I was 14-years-old, for the first time in my life,” he continued. One of his guests Jon Stewart then chimed in to joke, “And that’s Catholic school. Which is even whiter America.”
“It took me a little while to kind of adjust to it. It’s hard to balance because I’m a kid that plays this game at such a high level, you’re in your mind ‘are they happy I’m here cause of who I am or because of the conversation I can have with them?'” Bron’s close friend and business partner Maverick Carter then chimed in, “Sport and basketball, it’s the most unifying thing. By the end of the year all of us were best friends. Our black friends from the hood was coming, his (LeBron’s) white friends and we were all having a f**king good time.” So all is good, right?
Twitter erupted with people who got their panties in a wad over a headline TMZ used for the story they tweeted about it without listening to Bron’s full conversation in context. “But if a white person said they had to ‘acquire a taste for black people,’ sh*t would hit the fan. Gotta love that racism double standard!” one person tweeted. Another said, “I bet
@KingJames really enjoys #WhitePeople money when he sells his sneakers for high prices so that a majority of urban area kids can’t afford. Or the white guy that pays him. Or the white people here lives next door to. #Lebron STFU.” Another tweeted, “If a white player had said that he would lose endorsements and probably let go from the team. Why is this ok???” Obviously they didn’t listen to his whole clip. This is a 33-year-old man reflecting on his 14-year-old self upon entering white America for the first time.