Lebron is farrrr more than 'Just an Athlete'

He is more than just an athlete.

He is a man first and foremost. Since 18-years-old, LeBron James has learned how to be the perfect professional. Raised by a strong, Black, queen in the projects of Akron, Ohio; Lebron James has been an icon both on and off the court. For the last 15 years, he has been criticized and disrespected by the media, and he’s taken the heat with a smile on his face. He has overcome all odds, to become a champion on and off the basketball court.

He is more than just an athlete.

He is an amazing father and a damn good husband. At 17-years-old, LeBron signed one of the biggest Nike deals in the history of sports, but not even the money and the fame could stop him from marrying his high school sweetheart, Savannah.  Raised without a father and yet, he committed himself to breaking the cycle and he’s been damn near perfect. No cheating scandals, no outside children, or no criminal activity. So, Mr. James, as a young, married, Black man in America, I salute you for being that positive role model and showing us how to be both successful within your profession and all about your family as well.

He is more than just an athlete.

He is a philanthropist.  In 2015, The LeBron James Foundation pledged $41 million dollars to give 1,100 students the opportunity to attend the University of Akron upon high school graduation. In addition, The LeBron James Foundation launched a program, geared towards parents in Ohio, helping them earn their GED. The Foundation covers the cost of classes, the GED exam and provides tablets for participating parents.

Just when we thought LeBron couldn’t get any better off the court, he did. Late in 2017, The Akron School Board approved a plan to build a public school whose mission will target kids who are at risk of falling behind. LeBron not only delivers on the basketball court but also in the community in which he is from. We often tell people, 'never forget where you came from’, and LeBron is living within that truth by uplifting the Black community that made him who he is today.

He is more than just an athlete.

Finally, LeBron is an activist. This year, we watched an entire league blackball Colin Kaepernick, while many of his peers remained silent on the situation. LeBron James has never been one to shy away from the public or make a bold statement on behalf of the Black community. We watched it at the ESPY Awards a few years back, and recently in the UNinterupted interview, which has led us to this point. We will forever admire how LeBron uses his platform for those who feel as if they don't have a voice.

 

In the years to come, when LeBron is no longer an athlete, we will better appreciate who he is as a man, a father, a husband, philanthropist, and activist in our community. I didn’t even mention his business ventures or how he empowered his childhood friends to be his ‘posse’ as Phil Jackson calls them; we will save that for another day of LeBron criticism.

To Laura Ingraham and Fox News, before you tell Mr. James to ‘shut up and dribble’ do a history lesson and put some RESPECT on his name because for the last 15 years in the NBA he has proven to be much more than just an athlete.

U Bum. *LeBron James Voice*

 

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