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LeBron, Mookie And MLB Promote Divisive, Corporate-Approved BLM ‘Lifestyle’

You can’t spell BLM without MLB, and so it makes perfect sense that Major League Baseball returned Thursday evening on its knee, placating the Black Lives Matter mob with headpats, bellyrubs, butter biscuits and other pet treats.

The Yankees and Nationals took batting practice in BLM T-shirts. They kneeled and bowed their heads before the national anthem, then rose to their feet for the playing of the Star-Spangled Banner. MLB carved BLM into the back of the pitcher’s mound. In Boston, the Red Sox unveiled a 250-foot BLM billboard at Fenway Park. In the nightcap, Dodgers outfielder Mookie Betts, one of the richest athletes in sports, kneeled during the playing of the anthem. 

I found the whole thing sad, embarrassing and patronizing. It crystalizes America’s pervasive lack of substance. Imagine Brooklyn Dodgers general manager Branch Rickey signing Jackie Robinson to be a mascot rather than second baseman. 

That’s what BLM is at this point. Corporate America’s lovable mascot, a decorative symbol to be bought and plastered on a field to ward off accusations of systemic racism. When fans return to the ballpark, commemorative “I’m Not Racist” T-shirts, ball caps and jerseys will be available to the public for just $29.99. 

We used to fight for opportunity, a chance to compete at the highest level athletically, academically and financially. Now we’re fighting for public pandering and payoffs to charities that fight social injustice with highly-compensated speaking engagements. 

It’s insulting. Are we really that cheap, that clueless? Have we come so far that there’s so little to do that symbolic gestures and eight-figure checks to the National Rainbow Action Network For The Advancement Of Media People are all that’s left to do?

The gestures don’t fight discrimination. And they won’t prevent the next batch of riots. In fact, all the pandering guarantees another wave of riots. The rioters have been rewarded. The bigots painting with broad brushes, the ones vilifying all police and all white people, watched Thursday’s Ice Justice Challenge and felt emboldened.

They’ll wait for the mainstream media and celebrity influencers to reveal the next piece of viral video intended to trigger their emotions. Meanwhile, LeBron James and his Orlando-bubbled NBA cohorts plan to keep the emotional pot simmering with constant references to Breonna Taylor, the Louisville woman caught in a hail of police gunfire during a failed drug bust.

Stirring outrage is the side-hustle of professional athletes. 

Someone might want to inform Mookie Betts that taking a knee has lost its outrage-ability. The Ice Knee Challenge is as mainstream as mom, baseball and apple pie. Major corporations finance it. White kids from the suburbs do it. Roger Goodell endorses it.

There’s no risk in taking a knee, especially when you’ve signed a 12-year, $365 million contract. The kneelers aren’t mimicking John Carlos and Tommie Smith at the ‘68 Olympics. The courageous black professional athlete will be the one bold enough to point out the fraudulence of the movement. 

Kneeling is a fad that went pop, crossed over and is the preferred gesture of people disconnected from “the culture.” Someone needs to send Mookie the memo circulating throughout the NBA.

Talk Breonna Taylor. That’s the new gesture. 

Thursday, following a scrimmage against the Mavericks, LeBron James opened his press conference calling attention to Taylor’s death. 

“First of all, I want to continue to shed light on justice for Breonna Taylor and to her family and everything that’s going on with that situation,” James said. “We want the cops arrested who committed that crime.”

Taylor’s death was tragic. Three police officers executed a no-knock search warrant on her apartment. Taylor’s boyfriend acknowledged firing the first gunshot and injuring a police officer. The police responded, firing 22 shots. Eight of those gunshots hit Taylor.

Because Taylor’s boyfriend fired first, there’s zero chance of convicting the officers involved in the shooting. Johnnie Cochran’s corpse could raise reasonable doubt in the case. An arrest and trial would waste Kentucky taxpayer money, and the subsequent not-guilty verdict would spark a second wave of costly and potentially deadly riots in Louisville.

James is grandstanding. He’s keeping the racial animus warm until the next Cops Gone Wild video. That’s the purpose of Black Lives Matter — racial animus. We know the movement cares nothing about the thousands of black lives lost to non-white perpetrators. BLM’s mission is to provoke racial tension. 

“When you’re black, (BLM) is not a movement,” James said. “It’s a lifestyle.”

Wow. James is frighteningly lost in secular values. He represents a generation of young black people detached completely from religious faith. Christianity is a lifestyle. Islam is a lifestyle. Judaism. Buddhism. Hinduism. Confucianism.  

Black Lives Matter is a political offshoot of Marxism with the goal of disrupting the nuclear family. 

LeBron James is the head of a nuclear family and has tremendous influence over young people. Repair of the black family structure should be the top priority for anyone with a legitimate concern for the welfare and future of black American lives.

Yeah, LeBron James needs to shut up and dribble. He’s clueless. He’s a tall basketball player masquerading as a thought leader and moral compass. Shrink James to 5-foot-9 and no one would take his social and political commentary seriously. 

A healthy lifestyle does not consist of promoting racial animus and second-guessing white police officers. James’ framing of BLM as a lifestyle is as rational as his assertion several years ago that unseen spray paint on his mansion gate made him feel like Emmett Till’s mother.

LeBron, Mookie, Colin Kaepernick, Malcolm Jenkins and all the other professional athletes side-hustling racial animosity for social media traction are diminishing sports’ role in American society. They’re diminishing the reputation of athletes. They’re branding themselves as spoiled, entitled and irresponsible opportunists.

They’re no different from the corporations that rub their bellies, pat their heads and feed them butter biscuits. 

If you want Jason Whitlock for your radio show or podcast, contact

Written by Jason Whitlock

Jason Whitlock is a longtime sports writer, TV personality, radio host, podcaster and the newest member of the Outkick family.
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  1. We can’t be a country that hates each other and the country itself. The loudest voices are financially set for life, live outside normal society, and pay no price for the trouble they cause. The animus and racial division is not something I experience when interacting with regular people of all races in the many states I travel to. Racial bigotry would be dead if media and celebrities would stop warming up the paddles and shocking it back to life whenever there is a slight opening.

  2. David, great points. I live in South Carolina, and the crap I see on national news is not representative of anything I experience here. I often wonder what world, or what country, some of these people are in?

    • I think the media and a political party that stands to benefit are producing content and the internet to feed anger and to cause a change in the occupant of the White House. That is the overall point. I feel that if the Democrat wins the White House, most of these riots and statue tearing down will miraculously disappear.

  3. Thank you, Jason!
    As you say, athletes are diminishing sports role in American society! Young kids are distracted as between working hard so sports can be a stepping stone to success in life, and wanting to create a brand/influencer persona before they even learn to shave.
    And athletes ARE becoming parodies of themselves. I could see a whole SNL segment “At Home With The King” where BLM is everywhere in his home (taking a shower with BLM shampoo, BLM swimmies for the little ones and BLM on the pool floor. How about some BLM cold ones under a BLM umbrella?).

  4. I am saddened to see BLM treated like an organization that is actually trying to do some good for their local communities. Every major sports league and NASCAR is attempting to win goodwill from the public by embracing this organization. It would be better for all of the sports leagues to work with police and the affected communities and be a bridge for better and effective policing.

    Where does this nonsense go now? What is the future for a country that is a melting pot?

    • Agreed 100%. Not only would assisting police, donating to food banks so poor black kids (and all other races) aren’t hungry during schools being shut down, helping with family planning, getting God back into people’s lives, for example, help more, BLM is a communist organization to boot.

  5. Jason keeps raising the bar with his columns.

    I wonder when the first major star athlete will come out and push back on this?

    I bet Tom Brady wants to say something, but he is like LeBron too; money and attention matter more than lives and orderly society.

    We are at war with China and people like LeBron And Brady are enabling China and Communism; each in their own selfish way.

    Great Work Jason!! VIP is the best money I’ve spent in a long time.

    • Brady saw what happened to Brees when he said something innocuous. The most controversial thing he said recently was quoting FDR – “there’s nothing to fear but fear itself”. And he was blasted by the liberal media for downplaying the virus. Sad times.

  6. Jason, thank you for speaking the truth about the Breonna Taylor tragedy. Unquestionably, her death was tragic. Unquestionably, our police forces should strive for continuous improvement. But as you point out, it is not so simple to just say “Lock up the officers” (Officers who were in fact fired upon by Breonna’s boyfriend). Were the officers supposed to say: “Oh, someone is shooting at us. That’s ok. We will not defend ourselves. We will just walk back outside”……I mean, again, unquestionably, Breonna’s death was tragic. I am only saying that I feel there should be more focus on why the officers were there in the first place. The sloppy police work that led them there. Are Lebron, Mookie, and Malcom Jenkins too busy with their millionaire lifestyles to ask these questions? ……Like you say, BLM is not even about black lives, BLM is instead corporate America’s lovable mascot. And to draw from your column yesterday, our problems are not about race, but rather, our inability to recognize the danger of the Orwellian “Newspeak” which is all around us. The “Newspeak” is only the beginning.

  7. Jason Whitlock finally made me sign up to be a VIP at outkick. Your commentary is honest, bold, and truth-seeking.

    With that said, I overall didn’t have much of a problem with baseball’s response last night. A few things went a little far, but I thought kneeling before the anthem and standing during the anthem was a good compromise.

  8. No one currently captures the imagination of our children as much as LeBron James, which is disappointing. LeBron joining the NBA from high school with the power of marketing investments helped make it so. He wasn’t the first one, but he was the one who achieved success during the explosion of sports networks, YouTube, and social media that makes him larger than life.

    He inspired a generation of kids to view professional sports as the way out of difficult conditions, home life, poverty, etc. His success, coupled with NBA rules changes, effectively puts a finish line on learning at high school. College is irrelevant and players are becoming intellectually lazy.

    In the past, success on the court in high school opened up opportunities for lots of young men to go to college and expose themselves to different viewpoints, more information, and intellectual growth. With LeBron, we see what happens when you skip that important step. You get people with a platform regurgitating soundbites fed to them through social media without thinking through their own statements. Kobe skipped college too, but he was exposed to the world, learned different cultures, and became sophisticated He was the perfect ambassador for the game, but his talent wasn’t limited to the court.

    LeBron is a one-dimensional paper tiger. He has a voice, but he doesn’t know enough to make him worth listening to. You don’t need college to be informed, but you have to be intellectually curious to try to understand why we are where we are and then seek honest answers to figure out in what direction you think we should head. LeBron isn’t there and that’s why his tweets are essentially digital protest signs.

  9. Jason, didn’t you know that the secular world thinks Christians are hypocrites? In a contradictory way I also am told that I have “catholic guilt”. There isn’t anything more important than family and the belief there is something larger than you, whether you truly believe in God or not. I wonder if any of these athletes have been to the Grand Canyon and recognized how insignificant we are by comparison….

  10. I don’t get it. People praise LJ as a smart “businessman.” I bet he couldn’t balance a check book if his life depended on it. I also doubt he took business courses in high school.

  11. Great article. My question is, why aren’t those upset about Breonna Taylor’s death pushing for the country to outlaw no knock raids. They outrageously dangerous and unnecessary. This is something that could be accomplished in my opinion, but the goals generally seem to be vague or unattainable. As with Taylor’s death, the police did not commit a crime because the raid was legal. So the chance of conviction is zero. Though, the raid itself could be made illegal which would save lives in the future. Also, the raids are often used in the war on drugs, which by all metrics has been lost. Another push could be made for the legalization of drugs, marijuana is already on its way. Why do you believe there is such a focus on gestures over attainable goals.

    • There’s an obvious argument to be made for no-knock warrents: It keeps police from having to go into situations where the suspect hears the knock, sees the lights, and goes and gets his gun and opens fire. Especially nowadays, when it’s open season on police officers according to the radical left.

      Whether or not it should or shouldn’t be illegal, I myself am not sure but I see the value of both arguments.

      • I like both of your comments. There are so many questions to be asked. If only BLM spokespeople like Malcom Jenkins weren’t such hypocritical frauds. They aren’t even discussing them. And Kirk, to your point about the war on drugs, I also agree it is a lost cause, a war which is misguided at best, societal-destructive at worst. But are BLM and Malcom Jenkins talking about this? Of course not. If only Malcom and BLM actually cared about black lives instead of stirring hate, raking cash, and building brands. In the case of Malcom, he’s probably too busy to care. To borrow a few words from Whitlock, Malcom is probably too busy getting belly rubs, head pats, and butter biscuits from his elitist friends at CNN. Malcom is a complete fraud. (And Jason, thank you for the great article)

  12. Jason!!! You are the best.

    Is it like me trying to follow my lifestyle – the tenants of the Catholic church – only one day I realize that the Pope does not believe in the existence of God?

    XiBron is lost in his BLM secular world, and he is leading his flock into a dark abyss. I hope they are awakened by what they see in there.

  13. “Kneeling is a fad that went pop, crossed over and is the preferred gesture of people disconnected from “the culture.” I’m gonna need Jason to put out a book based on his 2020 quotables. You’re killing it right now, Jason. KEEP. IT. UP!

  14. The weeks ahead will show us what the market will bear. We can all talk about opposed we are to BLM — but if we don’t stop watching pro sports, stop buying their gear, and stop supporting them financially, they will only increase their war against THE BLUE. If the public at large turns its back on pro sports, then the leagues will face a choice of (1) knock off the politics (2) settle for less money or (3) downsize. We need a movement of our own. And it’s starts with you and me.

    • Herb, I agree. There is NO WAY I am watching the NBA. Jemele Hill, one of the spokespeople for those spoiled millionaires (she’s on bunch of their commercials) basically said they hate half the country and think we’re disgusting. And in her own words, there’s “no wiggle room”. It’s like Whitlock said in a previous column, they’ve become all the things they accuse Trump of being. It is so hypocritical and I think I’d get a migraine if I watched to those hypocritical spoiled millionaires. And as if their hypocrisy wasn’t enough, half the league has said they don’t really care about the games. Lou Williams plays on one of the top teams and he’s more interesting in visiting strip clubs in Atlanta than he is in playing basketball. The whole thing is a joke

  15. I don’t condone the willful ignorance of LaPawn or the other side hustlers. Their ignorance and hypocrisy should be called out loudly and often. I do have an issue, though, with the lack of courage shown by others, such as Drew Brees. It’s trendy to say “silence is violence” today but the problem is the silent majority has been largely just that — silent. There is no escaping the mob, so you might as well stand up to it.

  16. Excellent work Jason and Outkick. What is needed in the under served communities is a ROADMAP to ones best life. Not hate and divisiveness. Jason please check out they have created THAT ROADMAP to a way forward!

  17. I became a VIP of your programs because of Jason and I am glad I did…. However, I do not know if a sports network is going to work long term. Who is going to be watching spoiled, hypercritical, millionaires, disrespect the country that allows them to be spoiled, hypercritical, millionaires. Sorry but I am done watching or supporting any sports teams. I would like the NBA to move to China and see how long there BS would last there.

  18. I just wish more team owners would insist that a team employee has every right to protest any cause their heart desires, on their own time. However, they just cannot do it on company time, or wile wearing company apparel. I don’t think the company I work for would like me advocating a personal belief while wearing clothing with their logo emblazoned all over it.

  19. Thanks Jason. I learned last week what the poverty rate was in two parent households when comparing different ethnicities. Whites have a higher poverty than blacks when both parents raise their children. This is where young blacks have obstacles to hurdle that hurts me to see. On a high note, generally speaking, black men are outstanding parents.Just going by data.

  20. Jason,
    I wish these athletes would listen to you. I also wish they knew how effectively they are literally sawing off the limb they are sitting on as sports fans abandon the games in droves.

    I used to LIVE for Sunday NFL Football. I also loved MLB, I even played semi-pro baseball when I was in my 20s and 30s. I’ve watched my last game, yet it isn’t for the typical, expected “boycott because I’m upset” reason. I won’t be watching because I am physically disgusted at the notion of watching these ignorant, pampered petulant children make millions of dollars playing a child’s game, making millions doing it, while simultaneously accusing the nation which makes their lifestyles possibly of being “systemically racist”.

    I have been in law enforcement for 20 years. In my entire career, I have known one officer who was a racist, and he was quickly drummed out of the job. I wish these millionaires understood that it is just as distasteful to peace officers to painted with the broad brush of “all cops are racist” as it is for African Americans to hear “all blacks are criminals”.

    Thank you for the amazing way you articulate the truths you share. Please keep doing it. I hope for a day when perhaps, because of your influence, pro sports right the ship, stop pandering to the race baiters who are turning people away from the sports they love and give them back to us. But for now, I’m 100% done.

    Johnny Krause
    Chief Deputy, Calhoun County Sheriff’s Office

    • Chief Deputy Krause, thank you for your service. With media elites acting so deceptively, and with lies being propagated on social media, we truly live in frightening and Orwellian times. Mayhem in Portland will come to cities everywhere if we do not step up and support our country. In Portland, as I am sure you already know, fireworks and ball bearings launched by slingshots are shot at law enforcement daily, yet deceitful media portray police as “Fascist” for acting in self-defense. I have seen footage from body cams showing fireworks being shot at law enforcement. Of course, I saw this on Fox news. CNN and most other media only show videos which promote their narrative. (I am stating this not to tell you what you already know, but to stress that countless Americans like myself understand the truth and that we fully support law enforcement). If the country is to be saved, we need patriots like yourself now more than ever. Again, thank you for your service.

  21. Being a Lakers fan since they arrived in LA back in 1961, I find if very hypocritical of the present ownership to spout oppression of one ethnic group all the while taking full money advantage of another oppressed ethnic group and not uttering a peep.
    Rodeo Drive must be expensive shopping.

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