Lebron James: Influence on Society

Exclusively available on PapersOwl
Updated: Aug 18, 2023
Cite this
Category:Lebron James
Date added
Pages:  4
Words:  1272
Order Original Essay

How it works

In this research paper, I am going to talk about one of the best basketball players to ever live, LeBron James. However, I am not going to focus mainly on his outstanding career in basketball. Instead, I will shed light on his equally impressive life outside of the court. Let’s start where it all began for him: a small town in Ohio called Akron. It was here where he forged his values and beliefs. LeBron Raymone James Sr. was born on December 30, 1984, to his single mother Gloria James, in Akron, Ohio.

Need a custom essay on the same topic?
Give us your paper requirements, choose a writer and we’ll deliver the highest-quality essay!
Order now

LeBron’s early childhood was one plagued by uncertainty due to the endemic drugs and violence surrounding him, hence he had no clear idea who he was or what he wanted to be. The odds were already stacked against him; with a father in jail, constant relocation due to the lack of a stable home, he missed over 100 days of class. However, by the time he reached 4th grade, he was introduced to sports, despite his unstable living conditions.

The first sport that he was introduced to was football, and he showed a natural affinity for it. His football coach saw the potential in him and, seeing the struggle young LeBron was going through moving from home to home, decided to take him and his mother Gloria into his household. The Walkers, the family they stayed with, had three children. James shared a room with Frankie Walker Jr., the coach’s son who was also his football teammate and would become one of his closest friends. This was LeBron’s first experience with what he would later call “a real family.” The Walkers were hard-workers with 9-to-5 jobs – Frank, the football team’s coach, worked at the Akron Metropolitan Housing Authority, while his wife, Pam, worked in the offices of a local congressman. Living with the Walkers called for responsibility; James had to clean the bathroom every other weekend. Frank would cut young LeBron’s hair every Saturday afternoon, and Pam would bake a German chocolate cake for his birthday.

They had LeBron wake up at 6:30 a.m. for school and ensured he finished his homework before practicing basketball, which was now the in-season sport. Frank taught him essential basketball skills like dribbling and shooting left-handed layups. He registered James to play for a team of 9-year-olds and even enlisted him as an assistant coach for the 8-year-olds, believing that coaching would accelerate LeBron’s learning curve in basketball. Frank once said, “You could see his skills getting better at my house literally every day. “His time with the Walkers significantly helped LeBron at the time. This chapter of LeBron’s life represents a fraction of the struggles he endured to reach where he is today, which explains why he generously gives back to his community.

That upbringing led him to do many things for African American people. I’m sure people are aware of the unfortunate events unfolding in society today, particularly the gun violence affecting African American people. LeBron, being one of the most famous athletes in the world, took notice. In his next game, he wore custom shoes with “EQUALITY” written in gold letters across the back. When asked about it after the game, he said, “Obviously, we all know where we are right now, and we know who is at the helm here,” referencing the current president with whom he has previously sparred on social media. “Us as Americans, no matter the skin color, race, or identity, we all have to understand that having equal rights and being able to stand for something and speak for something is important. The conversation should keep going. I’ve been very vocal about the situation that’s going on at the helm here, and we’re not going to let one person dictate us, us as Americans, how beautiful and how powerful we are as a people. Equality is all about understanding our rights, knowing what we stand for, and recognizing how powerful we are as men and women, black or white, or Hispanic. Your race does not matter. This is a beautiful country, and we’re never going to let one person dictate how beautiful and how powerful we are.”

He has done a lot for African American people, and he has faced some backlash for it. A reporter once told him to “shut up and dribble.” That statement upset him deeply. In response, he said, “We will definitely not shut up and dribble. I will not do that. I mean too much to society, to the youth, to so many kids who feel like they don’t have a way out and need someone to lead them out of the situation they’re in,” the Cleveland Cavaliers player said. He shared that growing up as an African American kid in a single-parent household, he had “defeated the odds.” The reporter also suggested that politics should be left to people who “don’t leave high school a year early,” a statement that is entirely incorrect since LeBron did graduate from high school. Despite the back-and-forth, he thanked her for helping him raise awareness.

LeBron is not merely a basketball player; his brand is bigger than basketball. Last year, for example, the Los Angeles Lakers were 10th in attendance, with a home average of 18,934 fans, not far off the Staples Center’s 18,997 capacity for Lakers games. If you take last season’s $299 median ticket price for Lakers games and multiply it by last season’s average home attendance, the Lakers earned approximately $232,111,906 from their 41 regular season home games. But if prices for the home opener were to become the norm, and we assume that the Lakers will have a 100 percent home attendance this season, that figure could exceed $424,487,965. That is what LeBron does just as a brand. People simply want to come and watch him play. Another fact about LeBron is that, even without an established star, the Lakers still sold the fourth most jerseys during the regular season last term. Upon James’s announcement, jersey retailer Fanatics saw a 600 percent increase in sales during a three-hour period (compared to the same period when he announced his return to Cleveland) for a player who already had the second most popular individual jersey last season. Los Angeles has a population of four million people, while Cleveland has less than 400,000. If just 5 percent of L.A. residents purchase a new jersey, it would equate to $14 million in sales. Fanatics stated that James’s signing marked its single largest day in jersey sales ever for a player going to a new team via free agency or trade.

Estimates suggest that James has already earned $765 million when you combine his NBA salary with endorsement deals including a supposed $1 billion lifetime deal with Nike—spurred by the brand selling more than $300 million worth of his signature sneakers in 2012—plus Sprite, Intel, Kia Motors, Verizon, and Beats by Dre. In 2017, he made $52 million from endorsements alone. LeBron doesn’t only rely on high corporate partners either. He was an early investor in Blaze Pizza, a franchise which became the fastest-growing restaurant chain after expanding from two stores in Southern California to 200 franchises in just four years. However, doing so wasn’t without risk. James had to forfeit a lucrative $15 million in annual endorsement money from McDonald’s. LeBron also owns a 10 percent stake in the company, and the pizza company’s CEO, Jim Mizes, has targeted a $1 billion valuation for the company by 2022, which would net James a cool $100 million. LeBron had this to say about Blaze, “We get to build this. If it doesn’t become successful, I can only blame myself.” So clearly, he is not just an athlete; he is doing so much for the community.

The deadline is too short to read someone else's essay
Hire a verified expert to write you a 100% Plagiarism-Free paper

Cite this page

Lebron James: Influence On Society. (2019, Jan 17). Retrieved from https://papersowl.com/examples/lebron-james-influence-on-society/