HOLLYWOOD – Although I was not shocked, I was disgusted. It was only a matter of time.
I was in Los Angeles, California when LeBron James disrespected this great nation this past week.
However, I was not at the game, and that’s a good thing. I was a few miles from the Staples Center on Tuesday night when the Los Angeles Clippers defeated the Los Angeles Lakers 112-102 to kick off the NBA season.
During the National Anthem, “King James” left his place with his team in line along the baseline, headed toward the bench and screamed “Let’s Go” and got the crowd excited. He could have waited until it was finished, but he chose to make a statement and showed his true colors in the middle of the Anthem. No class.
He’s just one of many thankless athletes who have vaulted themselves to a higher status than they should. This will no doubt encourage youthful followers of James to do the same …. to disrespect our flag for misguided and unjustified reasons.
The Internet and Twitter did not take kindly to the three-time NBA champ’s childish move.
Like him or not, his actions were indefensible and reprehensible. There is NEVER a reason to stomp off during the singing of the National Anthem.
It was a classless and disrespectful antic toward the country that has allowed him the opportunity to make millions of dollars to play a game — a game.
This disgusting gesture came a few days after his statement made while overseas in China that the general manager of the Houston Rockets “wasn’t educated” on the China-Hong Kong issue before he sent a message of support to to the pro-democracy protesters. I guess LeBron thinks Americans should not support democracy.
Then he backpedaled, as most cowards will do, and said he is not a politician and that not every issue should be everyone’s problem.
A few years ago, he insulted me, and the majority of the nation who voted for President Trump. He called us “uneducated.”
That appears to be his go-to line.
He needs to be “educated” on the sacrifices that real American heroes have made for him.
He needs to be “educated” before he spouts off at the mouth as much as he chokes under pressure at the free throw line.
And like most uneducated cowards, he had no comment to reporters about his blatant disrespect for the National Anthem after he lost Tuesday night. He probably blamed the officials, like usual.
He obviously endorses China’s inhuman human rights policies by not condemning its regime. He would not talk about it in China because they “strongly suggested” NBA players keep quiet. They bowed and obeyed.
After he opened his mouth and inserted his highly-endorsed Nike shoe, then he said he will no longer talk about the NBA-China rift. Too late “King.”
James reportedly has several financial interests in China which include Nike’s lucrative shoe sales, and the development of Space Jam 2 which is expected to do well in the communist country.
But he won’t say anything negative about China’s oppressive policies toward women.
Instead, he comes back home to the United States and makes an ill-advised statement during our National Anthem.
Would he have done that during China’s anthem? Nope. They would not tolerate it.
Would he have called supporters of China’s government “uneducated” in the same way he trashed President Trump? Nope.
James has had a good image over the many years he has been in the NBA. He gives back and doesn’t get into trouble off the court.
In my eyes, all that has been flushed down the drain. The player I thought of as the fifth-greatest player to have ever graced the hardwood, has fallen off my list entirely.
I have spent the last two years interviewing professional athletes for my inspirational books. I have had conversations with several classy athletes and heard their stories about how God provided for them and how their faith has played a key role in their success off the field.
I was encouraged three years ago to try to speak to James when he was in Cleveland, because a source told me that he proclaimed to have a faith and walk with God.
While I was in the Cavs locker room before a game and a few feet away from the six-foot-nine superstar, he was on the phone. I was not eavesdropping, but I heard about 23 F-bombs come out of his mouth in the span of about two minutes.
His image in my eyes at that moment was forever damaged. Profanity is a weak mind trying to express itself in a forceful manner.
After his disgusting display during our National Anthem on Tuesday, his image is ruined in my view.
Is he a phenomenal player? Yes.
Is he charitable? Yes.
Is he entitled to his misguided opinion that Trump supporters are “uneducated?” Yes.
But what he did Tuesday night was a 100 percent insult to Americans and to everyone who fought and died for his freedom of speech.
Don’t expect an apology from him. His arrogance won’t allow it. He has been brainwashed by greed and has fallen into the Hollywood trap that Americans are the enemy.
He supported the oppressive regime in China, slammed supporters of Trump and disrespected our flag and its values.
But he can slam a basketball.
Who cares? I’d rather see him on a slow boat to China myself.
His comments have turned him from the “King” into a “Joker” in the deck of losers.
Del Duduit is an award-winning writer and author who lives in Lucasville, Ohio with his wife, Angie. They attend Rubyville Community Church. Follow his blog at delduduit.com/blog and his Twitter @delduduit. He is represented by Cyle Young of Hartline Literary Agency.