While most wouldn’t deny the importance of Black male role models in young boys’ lives, some Twitter users seem to have an issue with LeBron James’ feelings on the matter.
The Cleveland Cavaliers star tweeted Thursday, March 29 about a The New York Times’ “The Daily” podcast episode, which discussed a 30-year study that debunks the myth that racism can be solved by addressing class.
“Everyone should take time to listen to this,” James said. “Really deep look at what young Black men go through. The idea that it’s just about ‘class’ isn’t true. It’s about so much more.
“And we now know that Black boys need Black men in their lives. Doesn’t even need to [be] their father,” he added. “Thank you to every strong, admirable Black man who I had as a kid. Please listen and share with your friends and family. We must continue to educate ourselves on the real issues.”
And we now know that black boys need black men in their lives. Doesn't even need to their father. Thank you to every strong, admirable black man who I had as a kid. Please listen and share with your friends and family. We must continue to educate ourselves on the real issues.
— LeBron James (@KingJames) March 29, 2018
But several Twitter users proclaimed James’ stance was biased and that he needed to open up his statement to be more inclusionary.
Why do they have to be black? What happened to all that equality talk?
— Beast of Bittrex (@kickcritic) March 29, 2018
How you not recognize this is racist. Change the words black to white and this would be viewed different. Why not thank and empower all fathers instead of making it a race thing
— Steve Tsai (@SteveGetSold) March 29, 2018
All boys need men in their lives*
— Daniel Foster (@FostDJ) March 29, 2018
In response, many other users explained why James’ tweet wasn’t meant to include non-Black people.
“Why is this hard for some white people to grasp?” one said The Black male experience is unique. Black boys need black men to help guide and mentor them in an unfair world. Other men can help, but they don’t replace the unique need. Only Black men fully understand the Black male experience.”
Another tweeted, “Why are people taking this statement [personally]? He is speaking on a specific issue of importance as a Black man. If it doesn’t apply to you move on.”
“I’m confused at all the white people getting mad about what this man said lol,” another user tweeted. “He’s talking about a specific demographic. Using his platform to bring awareness. Please speak up like this on issues such as cops killing unarmed Black males because when that happens, you’re silent.”