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John Salley praises LeBron James for calling out the media’s coverage of the Jerry Jones picture - “Everybody wanting to call LeBron a sellout; no, you can’t”

John Salley praised LeBron James for speaking up on the media's discrepancy in coverage over Kyrie Irving's suspension and the Jerry Jones photo incident
LeBron James & John Salley

LeBron James & John Salley

Nowadays, it's common to see NBA players become involved in many of the social or political movements that are taking place in the world. The "Black Lives Matter" movement during the 2020 NBA bubble seemed to be a launching point for this change in tenor, and it has been fantastic to see these athletes and teams with such large platforms use those platforms to support causes that are affecting the rest of the world.

Salley gives LeBron credit for his stance on the Jerry Jones picture incident

So far in the 2022-23 season, there have already been several social or political incidents off the court that have drawn notable media coverage. The biggest incident of them all was when Kyrie Irving was suspended for eight games by the Brooklyn Nets for promoting an antisemitic film on social media and refusing to apologize for his actions.

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Meanwhile, in the NFL, Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones was recently spotted in a picture from 1957 at North Little Rock High School as part of a group of white protestors who were attempting to prevent six black students from desegregating their school. Whereas Irving's incident drew national media coverage, Jones' incident has largely flown under the radar, and it was something that Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James was not happy with.

Many fans have been critical of James in the past for not speaking out on incidents like this, but according to John Salley, those complaints are no longer valid. Salley was impressed with James' handling of the situation and believes that he made quite an impact when he spoke up on the issue at hand.

"I was so proud of LeBron when I saw that interview. When I saw him tell the guy 'hold up, let me get my words out', said what he wanted to say, put the mic down and walk off, that right there, everybody wanting to call LeBron a sell out; no, you can't. One, he can't be everything to everybody. Two, he's not holding our race on his shoulders. He's only doing his part as a person blessed enough to be born black, so let me say that to people saying what he should do." - John Salley, VladTV

Salley believes LeBron can no longer be called a sellout

Salley makes a very good point here when discussing James and his perception among many fans across the world. James has heightened expectations from many fans given his stature across the league, which means his actions are under a bigger microscope than any player in the league. And while LeBron does his fair share in the social and political realm, the large expectations surrounding him often result in large factions of people being upset with him.

Salley is right to say that that isn't fair to James and praises him for noting the discrepancy in coverage between Irving's and Jones' situations. James doesn't always speak up on these issues, but when he does, his messages are powerful, and Salley put together a strong message of support for James by praising what he has done rather than focusing on what he hasn't done.

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