Ooohhh, LeBron James. The PC police are gon' be comin' for you! Not only were you disrespectful to a lady reporter who asked Dwyane Wade an ever-winding, rambling question about his rough basketball playing, you used the "r" word. No, not "rigatoni," "retarded."
During a press conference after Saturday night's loss to the Celtics, Dwyane and LeBron sat on the stage, fielding questions from reporter after reporter. Neither looked amused. When one reporter accused Wade of dirty tactics in a play that left Boston's Rajon Rondo injured, LeBron mumbled to Dwyane, "That's retarded." Into a microphone. On national television. Oh, LeB, have you not learned anything from Kobe?
"Retarded" is a word that, chances are, most people have used at one point or another in their lives. Also, chances are said people don't have anything against the mentally challenged. Like "gay," it's a word that slips out once in a while. No, it's not nice, but I think typically people mean "stupid" or "not cool" when they use it. (And that is not saying that the two words are synonymous.) Or, if you're the Black Eyed Peas, you just mean "crazy wild."
The thing about LeBron, though, aside from the fact that he was in front of a microphone and millions of people, is -- didn't we just go through this with Kobe when he used the word "faggot?" Did you see the uproar it caused? The $100,000 fine (that you clearly won't be getting since it was "off the court")? What would possess you to use such a controversial word in public like that?
I don't think you are a bad person for using that word. And I actually kind of liked your camaraderie with your teammate up there, but I do think you're kind of a numskull for failing to think before you spoke. Did you not remember where you were? It's all just kind of weird.
So, I guess we can only hope that third time's a charm, and some basketball player who is about to have a slip of the tongue stops himself because he thinks of Kobe and LeBron. We all know the chances of that, though. Who's next?!
Watch the video. What do you think?
Image via david_shankbone/Flickr