Celeb-privilege: NBA under fire for double standards when LeBron James appears to skirt discipline for violation

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Extremely privileged NBA star and multimillionaire LeBron James, a so-called “social justice warrior” known for complaining about the alleged unfairness of his apparently miserable life, is being accused of enjoying preferential treatment by the NBA.

At issue is the league’s decision to not punish him for attending an event last week in violation of its coronavirus safety protocols and regulations.

“James was one of several high-profile guests present at a promotional event for a tequila brand he backs earlier this week before the Lakers’ play-in game against the Golden State Warriors,” ESPN reported last weekend.

“James, who has declined to say whether he has received the COVID-19 vaccination, was found to be in violation of the league’s health and safety protocols,” ESPN added.

Yet sources confirmed to ESPN at the time that James would not be penalized for the violation, which seemed odd but not necessarily a big deal.

However, when fellow NBA star Kristaps Prozingis, who’s white, was fined $50,000 a few days later for having violated the same rule by hanging out at a club on May 23rd, outrage ensued, with critics alleging a double standard was at play.

Look:

An NBA spokesperson eventually responded by claiming that there was a difference between what James and Porzingis had done.

“LeBron briefly attended an outdoor event related to an individual commercial activity where everyone was either vaccinated or return a negative Covid test. The league reviews each potential protocol violation on a case-by-case basis, and determines quarantines and imposes discipline based on the individual facts and circumstances of each matter,” the spokesperson said.

The spokesperson declined to note that, unlike Porzingis, who’s confirmed that he’s been vaccinated, James has refused to say whether or not he’s received the vaccine. The spokesperson also didn’t note whether James was tested before or during the event.

This statement did not sit well with critics.

Speaking with Bleacher Report, one unnamed Eastern Conference executive said straight-up that James is getting away with this because of “who he is.”

“It’s a given that LeBron, because of who he is, is going to get some things to go his way that don’t go that way for others,” the executive said.

“The thing that I struggle with understanding is the whole point of having all these health protocols is to keep players safe, right? Why are there layers to this? If you spell out the rules and the players violate them, why would you (then) risk exposing them to their teammates?” the executive added.

Another unnamed NBA official said straight-up that the NBA “is trying to have it both ways.”

“The NBA is trying to have it both ways. They are taking this [coronavirus] seriously; they have from the jump. But they want the players to not feel too restricted by the rules. What you wind up doing, you create more confusion to a process that’s already kind of confusing because everything changes so quickly when it comes to what you can do and what you can’t,” the official said.

Meanwhile, as James is being let off the hook, the cop who mocked him for sticking up for a now-deceased criminal suspect who’d been fatally shot by the police while in the middle of trying to stab another girl to death has been fired.

James is notorious for complaining about the alleged conditions he faces because of his race.

Responding to these gripes, last year black conservative activist Candace Owens pithily said, “If you’re suffering through racism, please give me some of that.”

Indeed, James is reportedly worth half a billion dollars and is, it would appear, allowed to say and do whatever the hell he wants with no consequences, no matter how foul.

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Vivek Saxena

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