From behind me, I heard a raspy, older, female voice ask me, ‘You guys gonna win today?’
I turned around. The voice belonged to Amy Madigan, the actress who played Kevin Costner’s wife in Field of Dreams.
'Yes,' I told her. 'We are going to win today. But I don't know about tomorrow.'
'Who's pitching?' she asked.
'Lester today. Tomorrow, I don't know. Might be Kevin Costner.'
She thought this was funny.
Self-indulgent? I always wondered why that tag didn’t stick with white athletes such as Eli Manning, John Elway, Danny Ferry and Kiki Vandeweghe, who refused to play for the teams that drafted them until they could force a trade. Did they avoid permanent ostracizing for their blatant attempt to circumvent the rules that are essential for competitive balance in the league simply because they were white? They certainly don’t pop up on the list when we talk about spoiled athletes.
LeBron, like the “draft dodgers,” never was accused of a major crime against society. But this week LeBron made a transgression that fewer are willing to forgive. He just forced us to discuss the existence of something none of us feels comfortable doing. He caused us to examine the bias that’s always lurking, that has the potential to spring from any of us.