The racist graffiti vandalism at LeBron James’ Los Angeles home that the sports media is accepting at face value leaves a lot of unanswered questions.
This is the contention of skeptical Fox Sports Radio host Clay Travis who has addressed the incident in detail on his various media platforms.
Authorities are currently conducting an investigation into the racially charge vandalism in which the N-word was spray painted on the front gate of the pro basketball superstar’s residence in southern California.
Although Travis conceded that the story may end up being true, “there is zero evidence out there that this actually happened,” he declared on his Outkick the Show Periscope broadcast.
While the sport journalism industry has apparently assumed the perpetrator is a white male, Travis also underscored that the identity and ethnicity of the alleged perpetrator is still unknown. “Did it happen and who did it” are two fundamental questions that remain unanswered, Travis asserted. Being a victim of racism helps LeBron James’ brand, Travis added, by generating sympathy among the American public.
“Does it make sense that somebody is going to jail so that they can write a racial slur on one of LeBron James’ five houses the day before the NBA finals?” Travis wondered rhetorically.
LeBron and his family weren’t at the west L.A. home at the time, but Travis questioned why LeBron’s staff painted over the racial slur on the gate before the LAPD arrived on the scene. They could have temporarily covered it up with a tarp or something similar to enable cops to examine the evidence such as the kind of spray paint used.
In our social-media-driven world, Travis also found it odd that no one in the neighborhood with a smartphone took a picture of the racial slur. Nor has a picture/video of a suspect emerged even though there are presumably security cameras at the home and all over the upscale Brentwood enclave where James’ $20 million mansion is located.
Commenting on the incident, Jason Whitlock, Travis’ Fox Sports colleague, maintains that racism affects poor people rather than rich celebrities or multimillionaire pro athletes. For LeBron James, in particular, the incident was merely a disrespectful inconvenience, Whitlock claimed.
The sports pundit also insisted that it was inappropriate for someone of James’ social status to analogize the L.A. vandalism to Emmett Till – a black teenager murdered in Mississippi in a vicious 1955 hate crime – in his press conference about the racist graffiti.
Travis seemed to agree in an essay on his Outkick the Coverage website. “Unlike in Mississippi where the justice system failed Till, the entire justice system is arrayed to ensure that LeBron James and his family get their full measure of justice here. Leaving aside the extreme differences in the crimes, the justice system is not even remotely comparable in these two situations.”
Although it’s too early to tell, Travis raised the possibility on Periscope of a hoax in what he calls graffitigate.
“There are tons of stories out there in the last couple of years of fake racial hoaxes where people have set up stories and they get a ton of attention and they ricochet all over the Internet, and everybody covers them as if they are a really serious story, and then it comes out that they didn’t actually happen, and the retraction gets hardly any attention at all.”
Along these lines, Clay Travis added, “Given how many racist hoaxes there are right now, shouldn’t we at least find out who did this before we immediately say it’s evidence of racism?”
Separately, both Travis, a lawyer describing himself as a radical moderate who has never voted Republican, and Whitlock have been vocal critics of ESPN forcing social justice issues into its sports coverage.
After their blowout loss in Game 1 of the NBA Finals Thursday night, the LeBron James-led Cleveland Cavaliers will face off against the Golden State Warriors in Game 2 on Sunday evening.
Do you think that Clay Travis has sufficient reason to be unconvinced so far about the circumstances surrounding the racist graffiti vandalism at LeBron James’ Los Angeles home?
[Featured Image by Damian Dovarganes/AP Images]