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Though NBA star LeBron James frequently provokes criticism, particularly from conservatives, sometimes — rarely, mind you — he attracts praise as well. Of course, even the praise usually comes with criticism.
Such was the case Friday, when the Los Angeles Lakers player expressed outrage over then-breaking news that disgraced Hollywood actress Lori Loughlin “will get to serve her two-month sentence at the prison of her choice.”
“Judge Nathaniel M. Gorton approved the actor’s request filed on September 9 to serve her time at the federal correctional institution located in Victorville, California, the prison closest to her home,” Vanity Fair reported at the time.
“The place where Loughlin will likely be incarcerated … is a low-security prison that houses 300 inmates and comes with quite the Hollywood pedigree.”
The news completely floored James.
Look at what he posted to his Instagram below:
View this post on Instagram
Of her what!!??? 🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣. I’m laughing cause sometimes you have to just to stop from crying! 🤦🏾♂️. Don’t make no damn sense to me. We just want the same treatment if committed of same crime that’s all. Is that asking for to much??? Let me guess, it is huh. Yeah I know!! We’ll just keep pushing forward and not expecting the handouts! STRONG, BLACK & POWERFUL! 🙏🏾✊🏾👑
“Of her what!!??? 🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣. I’m laughing cause sometimes you have to just to stop from crying! 🤦🏾♂️. Don’t make no damn sense to me. We just want the same treatment if committed of same crime that’s all,” he wrote
“Is that asking for to much??? Let me guess, it is huh. Yeah I know!! We’ll just keep pushing forward and not expecting the handouts! STRONG, BLACK & POWERFUL! 🙏🏾✊🏾👑”
His outrage over Loughlin being unfairly treated with kid gloves earned James a rare dose of agreement from virtually everybody, including people who literally hate him.
I hate this man with a passion. He’s a racist. But I agree 110%. Picking prison? Wtf kinda privilege is that.
— Alex Fuller (@FullerElectric1) September 19, 2020
OUTRAGEOUS that’Some’ Can Pick-a-Prison.She Committed a Crime+MUST do the Time! Our Govt NEEDS Changes & ALL NEED 2 Get Out & Vote!! ALL Our Futures Depend on this.
— Susan Goldstone (@GoldstoneSusan) September 19, 2020
Lebron is right. It’s a disgrace.
— G Bama Boy (@GraceRolltide17) September 18, 2020
he’s speaking facts
— 🚀 (@houstongotnext) September 18, 2020
But naturally, the post also attracted some criticism because it seemed racially tinged. James’ implication appeared to be that Loughlin is benefiting from the privilege of being able to choose her own prison because of the color of her skin.
In fact, several media outlets broached James’ remarks by specifically citing Loughlin’s so-called “white privilege.”
“James weighed in on what he deemed to be an example of white privilege and a double standard hours before the Lakers open their Western Conference Finals series against the Denver Nuggets on Friday,” Sports Illustrated reported.
But a large number of critics strongly believe Loughlin’s case has nothing to do with white privilege and everything to do with the privilege that stems from being rich, powerful and renowned … just like James and his peers in sports.
Yep. Not about skin color — it’s about wealth and power.
— Ron (@MyNamesRonM) September 20, 2020
I think this is wealth & fame driven. Not white/black. It’s unequal justice for sure, but a middle class non famous white person would go to the basic local jail that does NOT offer origami lessons.
— M.A.R.1030 (@mare1030) September 20, 2020
Hey bozos, that’s rich people privilege AND YOU KNOW IT. Way to encourage divisiveness. If Oprah did this, she’d have her choice too. Money talks.
— Jester GenX (@GenxJester) September 19, 2020
Hey @KingJames I don’t always agree with what ya say but this Lori Loughlin B.S. is crazy as hell. Im White and this is some celebrity privilege not just white privilege. I got caught street racing when i was in my 20’s. I didnt get to pick my prison or anything. It was 60 days.
— Bradley Stout (@UTVOLSFAN1982) September 20, 2020
— Matt Phillips (@BigPapaPunisher) September 20, 2020
Uh this is not about race this is about fame and Hollywood power.They are the privileged ones just like LeBron is .
— I am SOFLO (@Ericote69) September 20, 2020
Are we really making this about white privilege and race? This is rich privilege. If put in the same situation, LeBron would be afforded the same prison choice due to his wealth and celebrity.
— Thatrandomguyonsocialmedia (@Thatrandomguyo4) September 20, 2020
Are the critics right to say that James and his peers are no different than Loughlin?
There are certainly plenty of examples of renowned minorities, particularly blacks, benefiting from the privilege of wealth and power:
Did she murder someone?
Is he going to speak on the privileged treatment Michael Vick and Ray Rice got? And Snoop Dog? What about his illegal police escort to a Justin Timberlake concert? What about Michael Jackson raping little boys?
Famous people get treated well bcuz of $$
— JR Smooth (@JRSmooth12) September 19, 2020
This latest flare-up involving James comes amid another flare-up that happened Friday when the NBA star threw a bit of a fit over not being chosen as the first-place NBA MVP of the 2019-2020 season.
Speaking with reporters Friday after Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks was announced as this season’s MVP, James seethed with anger as he spoke of how “pissed” he felt over receiving so few votes from the judging panel.
— Bo Snerdley (@BoSnerdley) September 20, 2020
“Pissed me off. That’s my true answer. It pissed me off, because out of 101 votes, I got 16 first-place votes. That’s what pissed me off more than anything. You know, not saying that the winner wasn’t deserving of the MVP. But that pissed me off. And I finished second a lot in my career, either from a championship, and now four times as an MVP,” he complained.
“I never came into this league saying, ‘Let me be an MVP or be a champion.’ I’ve always said I just wanna get better and better every single day, and those things take care of themselves. There’s some things that are out of my hands, some things you just can’t control. But, it pissed me off.”
Ironically, the fit provoked critics into accusing him of being the “whiny,” “privileged” one:
You sound mighty privileged in whining about this. People are struggling in so many ways. It must be nice when your biggest concern is not winning MVP. Phony.
— Joseph Myers (@fedfan1979) September 19, 2020
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