Thursday, March 27, 2008

This whole thing with LeBron James and Gisele Bundchen is ridiculous. I like the question that Jason Whitlock of Fox Sports asks (which I found at

''Would we be having this discussion if LeBron struck the same pose on the cover of Ebony while holding Selita Ebanks? Think about it. And if we wouldn't be having the discussion, what does that say about us? Are we only bothered by negative images of black men when the primary/sole consumer of the image is white people?''

And while I think this is a good question to ask, I have to ask why this is considered a "negative" image of a black male. Couldn't one also argue that Gisele is being typecast in this picture: The bubbly blond model being held up by a strong man? They are both "playing the roles" their professions make for them: professional sports are aggressive; modeling is a place to be pretty. Why is it that these questions of "negative image" only come up when we see a person of color (usually black) in an aggressive pose? The question I would ask, rather than the LeBron/Ebanks scenario, would be this: Would we be having this discussion if Gisele struck the same pose with Steve Nash? Would anyone be saying that Nash was being portrayed negatively?

I listened to Dan Barreiro for a few minutes when he discussed this on Monday and thought that, as usual, he had some good insights. I couldn't listen to the whole segment, so I don't know where he ended up on the topic, but you can listen here. Just go to "3/24 Opening Segment."

(The picture of Danny B is from It's hilarious; it's like a criminal sketch of him.)

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David Luke Doody is a freelance writer and editor. He is a founding editor of InDigest Magazine (, an online literary magazine and the blog editor for Guernica Magazine ( His writing and interviews have appeared in those magazines as well as in The Huffington Post,, The Minnesota Twins Yearbook, and Intentionally Urban Magazine, among others.

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