Office of Citizen
Rest in Peace,
Lebron & Shaq vs. Rush & Beck - It's time.
Submitted by Tim Russo on Mon, 11/23/2009 - 08:30.
This week, Cleveland's city planning commission denied permission for Nike to replace the giant 10 story Lebron James banner across the street from Quicken Loans arena with this new one...
...for obvious reasons. Click through for more.
Nike isn't the only major company leaping across the line of racial sensitivity in Cleveland regarding Lebron James. In fact, this might be the image that captures the reality most accurately.
Like most professional sports teams, the Cleveland Cavaliers broadcast their games on a Clear Channel-owned AM radio station, WTAM 1100, that also airs Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh. It's time for Lebron James to address that. Not because he's a Barack Obama endorser. Not because he's a star. But because Lebron's a young black man who unquestionably has the power to stop it. Most of us are fully aware of the racial hate speech that both Beck and Limbaugh spew on a daily basis. Limbaugh called the NBA "the Thug Basketball Association"
...Limbaugh's called basketball "the favorite sport of gangs."
...said that Barack Obama's America is a place where...
...and we all know that Beck called Lebron James-endorsed Barack Obama a "racist" with a "deep-seated hatred for white people or the white culture." I took it upon myself to find out how the Cavs, Lebron, and Shaquille O'Neal feel about sharing airtime and revenue streams with this hate speech, in an article last month in Cleveland's newest alt weekly, The Indpendent.
No one from the Cavs, WTAM, the Lebron James camp, or Shaq's, has commented, nor have they made Lebron or Shaq aware of the issue.
The silence indicates the enormity of the stakes. What Lebron wants, Lebron gets. Lebron wanted Shaq - got him. Lebron wanted a new practice facility, it was built. Everyone on earth knows that if Lebron says the word, the Cavs leave WTAM the very next minute. And if that happens, every NBA team on an AM radio station sharing air with Rush and Beck will have the same problem. Which likely explains how freaked out Cavs spokesman Tad Carper was when he called me on the phone, from a game, in a panic.
I'm guessing that both Lebron and Shaq would step up in a heartbeat, but neither probably has any idea how dangerous, incendiary, inciting to violence, and racist the airtime has become on the Cavs radio home. The Cavs simply should not broadcast their games on that air and should not share revenue streams with WTAM, unless WTAM cleans up the air. And if Lebron, or Shaq, says the word, WTAM's air gets cleaned up, or the Cavs are gone. Period. So we need to make Lebron and Shaq aware of the hate speech they share airtime with. I'd like to ask this community to help put the pressure on the Cavs to do the right thing, and end the broadcast of their games on WTAM. This is a tough situation for this hope-filled Cavs fan, but it's time. Even this Friday night, on my way home from filming Palinbots in Columbus, I had to listen to Glenn Beck's voice of hate advertising his show on a Cavs broadcast while I was stuck in the car. It's not about a difference of opinion. It's about hate. WTAM's blowhards can be as wingnutty as they want, and I wouldn't care that Lebron shared their airtime. A line, however, has been demonstratively crossed, into hate speech. My hometown hero, Lebron James, who grew up in an inner-city neighborhood that suffers to this day because of this level of hate, doesn't belong associated with it. Ever. Enough is enough. So here's the email address for Lebron's publicity agent, Keith Estabrook.
Here's a list of emails for the Cavs, including owner Dan Gilbert.
Here's Cindy Hamilton, Nike spokesperson.
Here's the Cleveland NAACP email.
And here's a list of emails for WTAM and Clear Channel, also known as the "no chance, but more pressure is good pressure" list.
If you feel the same way I do, please email them all this image of Lebron, Beck, and Limbaugh, and ask the Cavs to stop airing their games on a radio station that airs racial hate speech. If your favorite team shares air time with Rush & Beck, post their email contact info in this diary, and hit them up, too. It's wrong. And it should stop.
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