LeBron James’ ‘slave’ comments highlight the NFL-NBA divide

Division on social issues highlight the differences and opposite directions the NBA and NFL are headed in

When LeBron James described NFL team owners as having a “slave mentality” on Friday, it was his bluntest public swipe to date. Sure, James called President Donald Trump a “bum” last year, but that was just a tweet. Last week’s comments, aired on James’ HBO show The Shop, were sharp and unambiguous.

James was referring to the NFL’s new anthem policy, which required players to stand for the national anthem or earn their teams a fine. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell announced the new protocol without consulting the NFL Player’s Association, which sparked furore among players, and thus the policy lasted just two months before being canned. The NBA, meanwhile, insisted its players follow a similar policy, yet it didn’t receive close to the same criticism.

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