By Ken Reed
Early in his NBA career, LeBron James stayed away from any political-socio-cultural issues, despite urgings from League of Fans and others. In 2008, James was quoted as saying he wanted to “keep athletics and politics separate.”
But in recent years, James has spoken out on a wide-variety of political-socio-cultural issues. In fact, he has become one of the foremost progressive voices in the country. In doing so, he’s gotten under the skin of many conservatives, including conservative talking head Laura Ingraham, who told James to “shut up and dribble” earlier this year.
This week, James came out and said he was completely open to the possibility of a female coach in the NBA.
“I mean, if she knows what she’s doing, we’ll love it,” said James.
“I mean, listen, at the end of the day, basketball… it’s not about male or female. You know the game, you know the game.”
James was responding to a question about Spurs assistant coach Becky Hammon, a college All-American at Colorado State and a long-time WNBA star. She led the Spurs to the Las Vegas Summer League championship in 2015 and has been the object of a lot of praise from Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich.
“If you know the game, then everybody is accepting of that,” said James.
“It’s the same thing with players. You have different walks and shapes and lives of players, but if you can play, you can play. You always accept it. … If you know the game, you’re always accepted. … It shouldn’t matter if you’re a male or a female.”
Now there’s a refreshing take from a superstar in the macho, too often sexist, world of the NBA.
— Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of FansPrint
- “Should College Athletes Be Paid?” Ken Reed on The Morning Show from Wisconsin Public Radio
Ken Reed appears on KGNU Community Radio in Colorado (at 02:30) to discuss equality in sports and Title IX.
Ken Reed appears on the Ralph Nader Radio Hour (at 38:35) to discuss his book The Sports Reformers: Working to Make the World of Sports a Better Place, and to talk about some current sports issues.
- Ken Reed's Author Page on Amazon
- League of Fans is a sports reform project founded by Ralph Nader to fight for the higher principles of justice, fair play, equal opportunity and civil rights in sports; and to encourage safety and civic responsibility in sports industry and culture.
A League of Fans Special Report