LeBron James and Gisele Bundchen VOGUE Cover Causes Racial Stir…And No One Understands Why???

What the…
This ain’t no coincidence. The enlistment pic was sent to me by a prominent writer soon after the issue hit the stands. It’s the same damn pic. The weapon of choice is different and Gisele isn’t topless, but you get the idea. Annie Leibovitz definitely has some explaining to do for this bullcrap–Mizzo

Once again a national publication has taken the liberty of pissing off the Black community. The April issue of VOGUE focuses on NBA superstar LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers and supermodel Gisele Bundchen, girlfriend of New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady. The cover of the magazine draws comparison to the King Kong/Fay Wray pose – James is shown baring his teeth, clutching the waist of Bunchen with his shoulders hunched in a gorilla-like pose. This recent development opens the door for James, who is arguably the most popular player in the NBA to address this issue and others concerning race in sports and how Blacks – specifically how Black men are viewed.

VOGUE magazine has been in existence for 113 years, in that time there have been a grand total of four Blacks to grace its cover – LeBron James being the first Black male.

It seems to me that the editors at VOGUE have driven home a point that they have been trying to make for decades.

  • The Black male is a threatening entity – savage like at times.
  • The Black secretly desires White women
  • Our instincts and emotions are primal, even in today’s world.

There are other photos in the publication that could have been placed on the cover but were not.

LeBron finds himself in the same seat Tiger Woods was in a couple of months ago. When do you say, “Hey, this is wrong.” or “This may be offensive to some people.” or just say flat out, “I’m not taking a photo with that pose.” He has that power and I’m sure that if he would’ve objected to the photo it would not have been taken. Sometimes I wonder if Black Athletes know how much power they really have. They don’t have to take photos that depict them as slaves (Charles Barkley) a cross-dresser (Ricky Williams) or a skit that has them as some White woman’s boy toy (Terrell Owens/Nicolette Sheridan).

I’m sure that there are those out there that are just as outraged because a Black man is seen on the cover clutching a White woman as I am for him being depicted as a savage.

I would like to think that James’ position would be more solid than the one taken by Woods who has stated that he is multi-racial and not specifically Black. James is by all means Black, he is from the inner city and is familiar with the struggles in the Black community, he has the street credibility, not to mention the adulation of a generation that seem to relate to him and is looked upon as the face of the NBA.

After reading James’ comments on the cover controversy, I’m not too encouraged.

“Everything my name is on is going to be criticized in a good way or a bad way. Who cares what anyone says.” LeBron inexplicably stated.

While the MSM and White America commend James for taking the “high road” we’re left on the same dusty trail looking for someone to come along and lead.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not looking for LeBron James or any other athlete to become a Ghetto Messiah, all I’m asking is to read between the lines when you’re asked to do anything, consider us as you would your own family. We’ve got you’re back, just don’t forget us. They can care less how you appear to them. To VOGUE, it’s all about selling magazines, to the Cavaliers it’s about selling tickets, at NIKE, it’s about selling sneakers.

I’m more concerned about you selling your soul.

92 Responses to “LeBron James and Gisele Bundchen VOGUE Cover Causes Racial Stir…And No One Understands Why???”

  1. mizzo says:

    Wow. Get it all on video cause it’s definitely going to be on. Keep them safety latches handy for the outlets and cabinets.

  2. michelle says:

    As always giving us a lot to think about.

  3. Michelle says:

    I always say guys like you and Mizzo need your own show. Yes, money is nice and we all need it but when money causes us to dance and shuffle it becomes a bad thing. Just look at the election coverage. The character of J.Wright has been trashed and there have been very few people of color on tv to give our view of him and why he feels the way he does. It’s a shame because there are prominent blacks with millions.The problem is too many of them are dancing or simply don’t care about the masses. It’s just a shame. Unlike other groups we don’t stick together and help each other.

  4. sankofa says:

    Actually Michelle, other groups have their ills amongst themselves. It’s just that they agree to present a unified (as possible) front to others outside the groups.

    We can’t even agree to disagree amongst ourselves without taking it outside to have others referee it.

    And temple3…banging as per.

  5. Miranda says:

    Dang Sankofa, you are SO right about that. I get so sick of it…..
    A little off topic – but since we’re talking about stupid folks it fits – I have yet to actually view any of this “Pastor Manning” person on youtube or whereever..whenever someone calls to tell me he is again on Faux News, (which I try to deliberately NOT watch) I refuse because apparently they have this idiot on there day after day after day. Is he demented?

  6. Prolyfik says:

    I haven’t been on this site since Jemele’s interview I assume, but nice to see you are still doing the do. This site is becoming pretty popular at my place of employment so please please keep up the good work. One thing. What’s up with the interviews? They are my favorite conversations on the web and what separates you from others. Mizzo, does SLAM have you on lock like that? Be careful my brotha. Stay true, you know how they do. It’s good to see you getting some national shine, but honestly, the starting five can be a meal ticket as well. Make this your priority Miz, trust me when I tell you this, but the streets is watchin’. I mean some powerful folk.

    Until whites come out against their own when bullsheeyt like this happens, they have no credibility as a race. They exacerbate our collective response with their absurd reticence. Stop defending nonsense and look in the mirror. Cowards……………[img]http://www.ec-securehost.com/RoValManufacturingCorp./images/AWWRG01GLOR_lg.bmp[/img]

    What BLACK brick is next?

  7. Miranda says:

    Just wanna share in case anyone hasn’t read this piece by Tim Wise on counterpunch.org:

  8. michelle says:


    I guess what I meant to say is we don’t support each other in business. The crab in the basket syndrome. We are consumers of companys that don’t even bother to advertise to us. Instead of coming together we sometimes separate. We black folks have a lot of money but we don’t spend it on us. Unless we are talking about a pair of Jordan’s. He certainly doesn’t care about the plight of blacks and a huge portion of that money goes to Nike. 40 million dollar slave is alive and well. I agree with you though when you say others have their own problems. I just wish we could all work together and be happy.

  9. michelle says:


    Thanks for the link. That was a great article on the J. Wright subject.

  10. michelle says:


    I’m with you. Mizzo, what’s up with the interviews?

  11. Mizzo says:

    Thanks for both of your comments. Have you noticed the change in the site since we took back the comments? That’s the reason. Trust me brotha and sista, I’m real, right and exact when it comes to my voice. Ain’t nothing gonna change this. I gotta get out there and spreading myself around in journalism is gonna make that happen. I do appreciate the concern. Keep it coming.

    Check this out:


    I have more of my opinions on this subject under the NBA heading and also on the bottom left under the starting line. I get heated but I know you all understand.

  12. Sankofa says:

    Michelle, Miranda

    Stevie Wonder sang..”if you believe in things you don’t understand, you’ll suffer”. I was explaining to a co-worker in relations to the Obama factor and how ritual magic- yes! magic-as us confused and doing things in an hypnotic state. Basically the magic of psychological manipulation is used to make our condition appear real becaue we are conditioned through trial and error, muscle memory and punishment and reward to believe we are at best inferior and at worst wretcheds of the earth.

    It is only natural for you not to want to be around an inferior wretch, even if they look like you. But that’s the magic of White Supremacy and it’s practice of the caste imperative.

    Extreme conditions demands extreme solutions, the early Nation of Islam and the UNIA for example showed us the way. Today we have the wonders of the internet/mass communication that wasn’t around back then, but we should never forget the mitigating factor for success in our community…each one teach one.

    it seems simple, but often we look for complex answers were simple ones reside.


  13. michelle says:

    I have been missing your wisdom.

  14. michelle says:

    Damn Mizzo, I guess you told them!

  15. Miranda says:

    Co-sign on what Michelle said – both times! LOL
    Mizzo indeed laid it down on that audio – thanks for the link!

    Thank you……”Each one, teach one” used to be the mantra………..but now we’re at “I got mine, screw you”.

  16. Sankofa says:

    Thanks michelle, i am learning from everybody here even the detractors.

    Knowledge is king.

  17. Sankofa says:

    Miranda from pyramid dwellers to ghetto dwellers. The making of the knee-grow.

  18. Mizzo says:

    Thanks ladies. I wanted to calm down but I thought in this instance rage was needed. If you click on the NBA heading you’ll hear much more that I have to say on this.

  19. michelle says:

    I hope we reach someone. Anyone.

  20. wow…i was already displeased by that cover for obvious reasons…but man, your find of the gorilla pics really drives the point home. to your question….NO, athlete’s do not know of the power they yield…because they really dont have power to begin with. how can one gain power when all their life they have been catered to and coddled? there image and auras are built on the asskissing of others who have their own agendas…all they’ve had to do was was run the fastest and jump the highest and be rewarded for that..the moment they lose a step or step out of line, they put in risk of losing everything…i cant think of any athlete that truly has power…i really wouldnt want them to aspire to be powerful….id like for them to have more control if anything, so that stupid ish like this doesnt happen…again.

  21. Mizzo says:

    Folks we’re having problems accessing the back end of the site to post new content. Bear with us. Everything should be peace sometime around noon.

  22. delinda says:

    Note to Prolyfik…I take offense to your comment: “Until whites come out against their own when bullsheeyt like this happens, they have no credibility as a race.” No credibility as a race? I’m White, and while my “race” does a lot of fucked up things, dont lump us all together like that. I wouldn’t rip on any race as a collective-thats just ignorant. There are pa-lenty of us “white people” who share the same views as the peeps on this site and it seems a bit counterproductive to say we got no cred-some of us do.

  23. thebrotherreport says:

    What’s with the “Pa-leeze” and “Pa-lenty” in your comments. Sistas don’t talk like that and female as a whole don’t talk like that. The statement, “There are pa-lenty of us “white people” who share the same views as the peeps on this site” you say you’re white but you’re crossed up trying to use street slang. My conclusion – You’re a white male, way too much in touch with his feminine side.

  24. jacinta says:

    I’m really gonna need Lebron to step up and take some responsibility here. Like, seriously. My jaw fell open IMMEDIATELY when I saw this image. In what America is an image like this NOT obscenely offensive? We’ve got to stop letting these athletes slide, allowing them to offer weak explanations for offensive imagery and take “the high road” when they should be speaking up. I already couldn’t stand the Cav’s and wasn’t fond of Lebron, but it’s officially a wrap.

  25. thebrotherreport says:

    Jacinta – I can’t say I was hoping for LeBron to take responsibility for the photo because there is the possibility that he and his camp were led astray on this…then again maybe not.

    I’ve come to the acceptance that the majority of Black Athletes are no different than the ManTan character in ‘Bamboozled’ – by the time they realized that their Soul has been compromised it’s too late.

    People react like we’re looking for Black Athletes to become political leaders or something like that, that isn’t the case I personally want them to be accountable for their knoweldge of self, whether it comes from parenting or being mentored. If Tiger Woods had knowledge of self GolfWeek would be used for fish wrapping and Kelly Tilghman would be looking for work.

    Tiger has no knowledge of self for two reasons: It was never taught to him and he never found it important enough to look into.

  26. man…I am so jealous of my pops man…in his day, Black athletes, for the most part, were smart enough to not let stuff like this slide…they had a self awareness about themselves to where, hey, they would have known better than to pose like that anyway…instead of doing it and potentially being tricked or misinformed like young lebron…..man, i a reaaaaalyy hoping he just didnt know what they were up to.

  27. michelle says:


    Let me say I don’t think all whites are selfish, greedy, dishonest people that can’t see the forrest for the trees. In fact I know they aren’t since I have honest, caring white people who are my friends and family. You have to admit though when it comes to public situations like this one many whites show their true colors. Now that’s a shame. As soon as we think race relations are improving in this country something like this or the J. Wright and we seem almost back to square one.

  28. delinda says:

    Brother Report- Pa-leeze dont be rippen on my white female slang, if its good enough for Mizzo, it should sit well with your Philli ass. And thank you Michelle…I agree.

  29. Mizzo says:

    Damn how did I get in that? People we’re working hard to get the site fixed and refresh the content. Bear with us a little longer 🙂

  30. MODI says:

    Miranda summed it up pretty well in her first comment. Not that he his guilt free by any means, but on some level, Lebron was exploited… still waiting for some Leibovitz commentary…

  31. Mizzo says:

    If there is a best case scenario with all of this bs it would be that Bron Bron was exploited. I don’t know if I agree totally that he was. Why didn’t the 200,000,000 dollar man politic for a Armani suit and nice Cuban cigar like Mike would have? Something’s fishy here. Annie has to come out with something as well…like right now.

  32. thebrotherreport says:

    Delinda – It’s Philly, sweetheart.

  33. Eric says:

    This real problem with this photo has nothing to do with the King Kong image and everything to do with lebron being with a white woman. If James had taken the same photo with Naomi or Tyra nary a word would have been said.

  34. thebrotherreport says:

    You may be correct in your last sentence – but since those in charge at VOGUE chose not to put Lebron on the cover with a Black woman – instead chosing to depict him as a savage with a secret desire for a White woman that’s what we’re talking about.

  35. jacinta says:

    Again, Lebron has to take some responsibility. Yes, it’s very possible that he didn’t know what they were doing when the editors and photographers were taking the pictures– maybe he was caught up in the moment. But the second he saw the completed cover– the image– he should have been offended, and consequently spoken up. i’m not buying that whole naive thing…at all. People will gloss over and justify things in their own minds just so they don’t have to rock the boat. I think that’s the case here. Add that to the fact that he feels white folks (Giselle, David Stern, etc. etc.) love and have accepted him, and it’s even easier to justify this imagery as innocent.

  36. Temple3 says:


    Can you clarify that?

  37. michelle says:



  38. mizzo says:

    I’ll post an interview with Ed Berliner of SpeedingBulletNetwork.com around dinner time today. It was a very good conversation describing where Blacks and Whites might stand on this issue and why.

  39. michelle says:


    Your welcome!

  40. Lebron does not appear savage as you are speculating at but as a basketball player who is known for his powerful roar like a lion. Gisele looks more than happy to be gracing his side so do you think you have blown this out of proportion instead of focusing on better arguments like inner city children not getting the education they need or even being treated equally as other people? That jails are still ridden with innocent black men and women just because it was an easy blame for a racially segregated and biased system? Or perhaps even the fact that employers still look over people by race and that in today’s society there is such a heavy weight maybe you chose an easy target. Charles Barkley broke the chains. He is not a slave anymore in that photo. He looks powerful and beautiful. Ricky Williams looks like a sweetie pie which would make people think differently because he is so thick in appearance it gives him a softer feel. I have no idea what your problem is but you need to get real. That enlistment photo is naughty but comparitively it is as if the Vogue cover dispelled the ignorance of the enlistment ad. If you cannot deal with that then be forever stuck in your mindstate in which nothing will overcome while you waste your time on a MAGAZINE COVER while kids miss out on freedom and while brothers and sisters are still in prison.

  41. Mizzo says:

    “Shortee Speaks” I hear everything you say but if you challenge yourself to read the content on this site you will understand we give credence to every single injustice bled on Blacks from our vantage point.

    I spoke with LeBron, not on this issue, but on others…so maybe I’ve softened my stance (not really) but I do and will forevermore hold ANY Black man, woman or child to a higher standard than that of the purported establishment.

    I say Blacks because in this context we are what we speak of.

    I cannot sit idly by while we are being smacked with the shit bag of hatred and respect diminished.

    Oh I didn’t write this post.. My bad.

    Shortee, cut off his body and see his mind. Answer an important question and I’ll respect your stance: What do you say to the photographer who emulated the enlistment photo “Shortee Speaks”? What about the powers that be. What culpability should they have?

  42. […] College undergraduates are typically too young to remember the controversy over magazine covers during the O.J. Simpson trial, or of Hurricane Katrina photos. The whole subject of black people and questionable photography. […]