Lebron James is everywhere. He’s selling Sprite. He’s protesting for civil rights. Most recently, he’s infiltrated an alternate dimension to liberate the Looney Tunes from the clutches of a malevolent AI. Yes, Lebron is everywhere, it seems, except the basketball court.
It’s time to ask ourselves whether we let athletes enjoy too much power. Yes, they’re public figures. Yes, they make millions of dollars. But that doesn’t mean they have the diplomatic wherewithal to resolve a political conflict in a lawless cartoon universe plagued by unspeakable violence.
We should have learned this lesson back in 1996 when Michael Jordan went on a similar mission of vigilante justice. It could have ended in tragedy when he was very nearly fouled to death trying to convert a full-court dunk. He’d been put in an impossible position by a team that was completely unprepared and undermanned. A crew that included known loose cannon Bugs Bunny, Porky the bipedal pig-man, Newman from Seinfeld, and many other characters who served to endanger Jordan’s life more often than they protected it.
What type of an example does this set for America’s youth? That you should aspire to stick your nose wherever you want, just because you’re famous? Imagine your son or daughter wandering into the Tune-iverse, trying to emulate Lebron James. They could easily be crushed from above by an anvil or crash headfirst at full speed into what looks like a tunnel but is actually a black void painted on the side of a rock by an anthropomorphic coyote. The dangers are myriad, but that wouldn’t be such a problem if the players would just stick to dribbling.
In the cases of both Lebron and Jordan, we should have deferred to government action. There are plenty of qualified states people who spent years in law school to prepare themselves for situations just like this. But, of course, in America, we value money and fame over intelligence, so we send our professional athletes and their god complexes to fight on the frontlines of battles they know nothing about, alongside the likes of Marvin the Martian and Tweety the hollow-boned canary.
We must put a stop to this recklessness before our nation grows so ego-dependent that it loses all sight of the principles upon which it was founded. We’re hurtling towards a sad demise. A toxic sludge of marketing speak, Instagram likes, and relentless hero-worship. In that direction, there lies only emptiness. Until Porky the pig-man punches his way through the abyss to deliver our country’s death rites: “That’s all folks.”