Hey Kids, Be “Like LeBron”
The Miami Heat are still being praised in some circles for the stand they took last week before a road game at Detroit. The team led by Lebron James and Dwayne Wade took a photo with the entire team wearing hoods in support of slain teenager Trayvon Martin. This show of support was so refreshing to see, millionaire athletes in today’s day and age with something to say. The players decided to let the world know about their support to the cause to bring to justice the man who gunned down the unarmed teenager on the street of a gated community in Sanford,Florida last month. Martin’s grieving father commented on how moved he was by the show of support. Wade simply talked about how , “As a father, this hits home” the same can be said for this writer because my son shared the same barber with Trayvon and his dad. What a powerful message the photo sent to the world. The Miami Heat also as an organization should be applauded for the decision to support the players as should NBA Players Assosciation representative and former prosecuter himself Billy Hunter. Too often we see situations in our communities and athletes with the platform to have a voice, often fall short and refuse to comment or choose to remain neutral because as one athlete once famously said, “Hey republicans buy sneakers too”. There was a time in this nations history when athletes used their sports celebrity to be heard. Folks like Muhammad Ali, Tommie Smith and John Carlos, Bill Russell, Kareem Abdul Jabbar and Jim Brown. The Heat players like the heroes before them took a stand and did not worry about losing endorsements or sponsers. They made a powerful statement and let the world know that not all athletes are selfish, self centered, shallow, well you get the point. Other big name players soon followed suit, Steve Nash, Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudamire all donned hoodies at games, posting themselves wearing hoodies or both. CNN political analyst Roland Martin as it turned out had questioned via Twitter why NBA players had not lent their support to Trayvon’s cause. Whether the players actions were in response to his call is unknown, what is known is that this may be the boldest statement outside the sports arena that Dwayne Wade and LeBron James have ever made. In this case, perhaps it is wrong to compare James to that basketball great who once wore the famous number 23. Today’s kids do not want to be “Like Mike” they want to be “Like LeBron” and you know that’s not such a bad thing after all.