LeBron is Absolutely Right (wink wink)
Last week, a couple of bad fans taunted LeBron James throughout the Lakers/Pacers game which the Lakers won in overtime. The fans clearly crossed the line and were ejected from the arena for making threatening statements about James' son.
The fans were in the wrong.
LeBron was in the right.
And security was correct in escorting the fans out of the arena.
Then what are we doing here?
Ah, a very good question. Outside of Cleveland, Ohio, there's a small suburb called Brook Park and the population there is about 20,000 people. The police station has 44 sworn officers and 17 civilian support staff. About 60 people to keep the peace 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The economy of Brook Park used to be driven by Ford Motor vehicles, but now its largest employer is the U.S. Government.
The average NBA arena, coincidentally, also holds about 20,000 people. NBA players are protected by their own personal security, arena security, and the local police. On the property of any NBA arena on game day, inside and out, I would speculate that NBA players are supported by over 100 security or police personnel. That also doesn't include the secondary support in most arenas by big city police departments.
You know who lives in Brook Park, Ohio? Early BOS contributor Joe K. Now if I went to Joe's home and taunted him in a despicable manner, you know how long before the cops would get there? Probably in a few minutes. On a weekend though, my threats to Joe may be given low priority due to call volume and I would probably tire on his lawn and run out of insults while waiting for a police response.
Now in the incident in question with LeBron and the fans, as soon as LeBron complained, the fans were escorted out. The response was instantaneous. Now LeBron James is a huge proponent of Black Lives Matter and the defund the police movement, but not at the Crypto.com Arena.
LeBron could come out and say "let's defund the police and let's start where I work at NBA arenas." Notice he doesn't say that. He constantly complains of the fans' bad behavior and their proximity to the court. The security presence where he works is actually GREATER than that of the average American Suburb.
At first I thought last week's incident was just another blip on the culture war radar, but then last night, former James teammate Tristan Thompson had a fan tossed from the Fed Ex Forum in Memphis because he said mean things about (former girlfriend) Khloe Kardashian. Again, if the reports are true, the fan should have absolutely been tossed. No questions there.
But you know how many times strangers were mean to me at work? A. LOT. Remember, I worked in the service industry for a long, long time. You know how many times mean people were escorted from the premises or arrested where I worked? It never happened. You're arguing that I never had to endure the taunts of hostile fans? You are missing the point. I NEVER ADVOCATED FOR DEFUNDING THE POLICE. For someone in James' position to state 'defund the police,' then expect security at his beck and call, is an absurb position to hold. James and his millionaire player ilk don't want to defund their police, they want to defund your police.
I didn't do any private investigator level sleuthing on Brook Park, everything I linked above is a matter of public record. What's the security presence at Crypto.com Arena? They don't have to tell you. What kind of security does the NBA require at their arenas? They don't have to tell you either. The reason being is that it's their job to protect millionaire athletes, not police a 7.5 mile patch of land.
If this trend of removing bad fans in a very public manner continues, James will feel vindicated, when, in fact, he should be confronted by the media.
LeBron's words say less police. LeBron's actions say more police. The next time LeBron starts chirping about BLM, ask him to defund the police at his own job.