- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 27, 2020

Sportswriter Jason Whitlock says NBA star LeBron James’ outspoken activism has his Twitter feed reading like a transcript from a KKK rally.

The longtime television personality told readers at OutKick this week that it’s time for Black professional athletes to exit “Nike’s China-approved, LeBron James and Colin Kaepernick-constructed social justice bubble” and use prudence when commenting on police shootings. 

“The NBA Bubble is toxic,” Mr. Whitlock wrote Thursday of the Milwaukee Bucks refusal to take the court this week before a playoff game. “It was bound to burst, bound to foment racial animus. The Bubble is a museum dedicated to defining America as inherently racist and demonizing anyone who questions the sanity of analyzing a nation through the lens of police engagement with resisting suspects.”

James unleashed a torrent of criticism this week for cops in response to the recent shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin. 

“If you’re sitting here and telling me that there was no way to [subdue] that gentleman or detain him or just before firing guns, then you’re sitting here lying to not only me, but you’re lying to every African American, every Black person in the community,” the Los Angeles Laker said during a press conference. “[Maybe the cop] just left the house saying that, ‘Today is going to be the end for one of these Black people.’ That’s what it feels like. That’s what it feels like. It just hurts. It hurts.”

Mr. Whitlock countered that James employs dishonest rhetoric to influence others through fear and ignorance. 

“I’m Black. I’m not scared. I’m not terrified. Neither is LeBron James. He’s lying,” the writer replied Tuesday. “He and the political activists controlling him want Black people to immerse themselves in fear. Fear is a tool used to control people. If you comply with police instructions, there is virtually no chance of an American citizen being harmed by police.”

Mr. Whitlock added that James’ “sweeping negative generalizations about white police officers” make him an ideological peer of the racists he claims to reject.

“LeBron James foolishly thinks he’s overseeing the police,” Mr. Whitlock wrote. “He’s overseeing the Black KKK. He’s promoting racism. He’s demonizing a group of white people based on the behavior of a few. As a Black man, that sort of racist tactic should be terrifying. That racist tactic was used to deny us freedom in this country. No one who professes to care about the welfare of Black people would adopt the tactics of white bigots.”

“Bigots, regardless of color, have a common trait,” he continued. “Ignorance. Ignorance fuels their ego. Information is their enemy. They avoid it at all costs. Negative anecdotes frame their worldview.”

The sportswriter punctuated his points by saying athletes with millions of social media followers should wait before making comments on edited videos. 

“A 20-second viral video of police shooting a resisting criminal suspect wanted for sexual assault did what the Zapruder film could not,” Mr. Whitlock wrote. “Jacob Blake halted sports. The NFL played on in the aftermath of President John F. Kennedy’s televised assassination.”

• Douglas Ernst can be reached at dernst@washingtontimes.com.

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