HBO presents “The Shop", an unfiltered show that mimics the vibe of traditional barbershop. This show features NBA Star LeBron James and some of the entertainment’s best. Each episode will cover compelling discussions about culture, music and sports. The audience will get the opportunity to engage in a unique display of athletes and entertainers sharing their stories and views about the world. Often as athletes they’re scrutinized by the media and generalized in a specific type of group. We live in a world where athletes are judged based upon what they do in their respective sport. On "The Shop" LeBron James and peers look to tap into a deeper surface to address certain social issues. It's quite intriguing to witness the relationship between our fellow African-American athletes; over the years Draymond Green and LeBron have developed a genuine friendship that evolved into a business relationship. Draymond shared his live podcast on LeBron's uninterrupted media channel, which then lead to an appearance on "The Shop". Sports have a great way of unifying athletes from various backgrounds, especially African-Americans.
In “White” America, we continue to witness African-American athletes slandered when taking a stance on social issues. A prime example is NFL star Colin Kappernick, who remains a free agent in the NFL due taking a knee during the national anthem. This sighting became very controversial and stirred up the topic of discussion on race in America. I strongly agree with Colin Kappernick stance on his view about social inequality in the United States. As an athlete I feel that its important to fulfill your purpose and at times this may indirectly insults those in authority. As we see in the case of Kappernick, he was penalized for standing up for what he believes was right. In this episode, LeBron James spoke on similar issues he faced in his past and his experiences being an African-American athlete in a predominately "white" school; and how it shaped his perspective against "White" America. LeBron James and his friends faced a "culture shock" due to the large population of White people.
Comedian Jon Stewart shed some light on his individualistic perspective. He feels that it’s important to differentiate how to view the African-American athlete with regards to who they are outside of their sport. For entertainers who get a chance to make it outside of their communities it always raises the discussion of how they really feel about their place in the world; especially in America. LeBron James has continued to be the avid spokesmen for African-American athletes, when we look back in history Muhammad Ali is one athlete who served not only a community but an entire ethnic group. Growing up as an inner city black male I never had to look far for inspiration; Ali filled that void. NFL star Michael Bennett mentioned the stigma that has been created by White America against African-American males in inner-city communities.
Ultimately, athletes and entertainments influence the way we talk, dress, and act to a certain extent. LeBron James has used his creative platform to reach his audience outside of the area. Once upon a time in America there was a huge shift when athletes never spoke up on social issues and for Muhammad Ali he helped spark the idea for many athletes to come. Now in the 21st century LeBron James has made it an obligation for himself to continually set positive examples for African-American athletes worldwide. The bottom line is that as an athlete you should never lose sight of the bigger picture, stay true to your belief systems even if that means stepping on the toes of those in power (authority).
Thanks: @uninterrupted, @hbo, @klutchsports
CEO: Maverick Carter
Athletes: LeBron James , Candice Parker, Michael Bennett, Draymond Green
Entertainers: Jon Stewart, Snoop Dogg, Vince Staples, Jerrod Carmichael