Fox Sports 1 commentator Jason Whitlock came under fire Thursday after criticizing Cleveland Cavaliers star LeBron James comment about “being black in America is tough.” Whitlock argued that being poor is even worse.
On Wednesday, James broke silence after N-word was spray painted on his Los Angles home’s front gate. During a press conference in Oakland, California, ahead of an NBA final between Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors, he said the incident showed that racism was a part of the world.
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“It doesn't matter how much money you have, no matter how famous you are, no matter how many people admire you, being black in America is — it's tough,” James said.
He also brought up Mamie Till Mobley, the mother of Emmett Till — a 14-year-old Chicago boy who was lynched in 1955 for allegedly whistling at a white woman during a visit to Mississippi. She had insisted on having an open casket at the funeral, so that people could see how brutally her son was murdered.
However, Whitlock countered James’ comments saying: “The worst thing to be in America and anywhere on the planet is poor. ... LeBron has risen above poverty to that special elevated place we have in society where pretty much nothing can bother him. To sit here and say that ‘Oh my God, my house was vandalized in L.A. and on the eve of this greatest sporting event I’m traumatized.’ It’s just not true.”
“LeBron's comment about no matter how rich you are, no matter how famous you are it's tough being black in America. That is a lie. It's not tough being Oprah Winfrey, it's not tough being LeBron James … The people that murdered Emmett Till got off, an all-white jury let them off; there was no real investigation, the whole town was against him. LeBron’s $20 million Brentwood home gets vandalized and I see two or three police cars trying to get to the bottom of it,” Whitlock said Thursday. “LeBron’s staff, I’m sure, cleaned up the spray paint within hours. This ain’t Emmett Till,” Whitlock added.
However, his comments were criticized by professional athletes, including Philadelphia Eagles’ Torrey Smith and Denver Nuggets forward Wilson Chandler.
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