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For the second time in a week, an opposing fan has made waves by interacting with Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James. Last week, it was a man in Cleveland. This time, it was a woman in Atlanta. Is this a coincidence? Probably not.
Let’s start with Monday, when a woman seated near the court for the Hawks-Lakers game had a verbal exchange with James. It’s hard to know what the woman said, but it obviously bothered James enough that security stopped the game and intervened.
That was this week. Last week against his hometown Cavaliers, a male fan was physically removed from the arena for holding up t-shirts that accuse James of being a racist and a narcissist.
Keep in mind, most NBA arenas don’t allow fans. So the fact there have been two fan incidents involving LeBron — when there aren’t many fans in the building — makes us believe this may be about more than just basketball.
LeBron has been outspoken over the past three or four years, repeatedly bashing and mocking President Donald Trump, and unlike most of the league’s greats before him, making his strong liberal political beliefs known. James has the right to support whomever he wants and whichever causes he wants, but his politics seem to have alienated a large segment of his fan base (or former fan base, if you will).
Fair or not, that’s how these things tend to play out. And since James is the face of today’s NBA, a lot of folks have turned on the NBA overall as well. We at OutKick have even decided to limit our NBA posts, as our readers have made it abundantly clear that they have almost zero interest in the league.
Whether you support LeBron isn’t really the story here. But what could be interesting in the long run is how James’ polarizing approach to politics impacts his legacy. He may become the most despised superstar athlete of his generation.
That’s not intended to be hyperbole either. Can you think of another super-duper-star athlete who is so openly despised? He or she may be out there, but it really is tough to come up with a name.