Damage to LeBron's Brand
Some argued that (The Letter) read like he thought he (Gilbert) owned more than just the team — like he owned LeBron. - Yahoo! Sports
When LeBron James played for two stints with the Cleveland Cavaliers, the narrative was always the same, the star player, LeBron, versus Dan Gilbert, the owner.
In North American sports, owners always win. Once you're in the owner's club, it doesn't really matter if you win or lose on the court, your franchise makes money.
Lots and lots of money.
In European soccer though.....
This week, the Big 6 in the Premier League (Liverpool, Manchester United, Manchester City, Chelsea, Arsenal, and Tottenham Hotspur) tried to break away and form their own Super League with some other European clubs-
You're interrupting me that you don't give a rat's ass about European Soccer? Okay. Long story short, LeBron has become Dan Gilbert, but even worse. LeBron sells you that he is one of you in order to sell merchandise. The Super League disaster shows he is not one of you. LeBron is just another scumbag owner. No billionaire is one of "us."
While I am still wrapping my head around the greed of Liverpool's ownership group, it must be noted that LeBron owned 2% of Liverpool, and then joined the Fenway Sports Group to increase his stake in Liverpool to an undisclosed percentage. Today, the majority owner of Liverpool, John Henry, took to social media and begged for his fans' forgiveness in the Super League debacle.
As John Henry was pleading his case to the fans not to take out their anger on the Liverpool coaches and players, LeBron was tweeting away in America criticizing NFL owner Mark Davis for his I CAN BREATHE tweet and then seemingly threatening a Columbus police officer.
What should have been happening is that the American Press should have been asking LeBron if he was going to sell his stake in Liverpool to show solidarity with the Liverpool players and fans.
There should have been hard questions to LeBron like:
Since your soccer club treated one of the best soccer players in the world, Mohamed Salah, like he was a commodity that you owned and could do anything with, do you plan to divest your ownership stake in Liverpool?
Dan Gilbert played within the rules of the NBA. Liverpool's arrogance in trying to form a Super League jeopardized their player's futures in FIFA and with their National Teams. If Dan Gilbert, the owner, tried to break away from the NBA, while using LeBron James, the player, as a pawn, LeBron would have been livid. He would have lit up social media with analogies of being treated like a slave.
When LeBron, the partial Liverpool owner, tried a stunt that North American sports owners wouldn't even try.