Above all else, LeBron James wants to be known as one thing. No, it isn’t three-time (and counting) NBA champion, four-time MVP, or the greatest player of the post-Jordan era. It isn’t even the savvy businessman or film producer.
James wants to be known as something more. Since launching The Undefeated, James has used the slogan, “More Than An Athlete,” to describe that while he wants to be all of these, there’s more behind the NBA highlights and news clippings.
LeBron James is more than an athlete
James has been among the most outspoken NBA superstars when it comes to civil rights. Since his early career, James has not stuck to the apolitical messaging that Jordan and other athletes used in their heydays.
Instead, he uses his platform to speak up for others. This is where the heart of his slogan, “More Than An Athlete,” comes from. James wants people to know that his basketball talent will never define him as an overall person. He puts work to his words, too.
It was James and the Miami Heat who took pictures in honor of a murdered Trayvon Martin while many tried to paint him as a villain. James has also spoken up several times about police shootings, political injustice, and President Donald Trump.
When Fox News host Laura Ingraham told James to, “Shut up and dribble,” James responded by doubling down on his message. The “More Than An Athlete” mantra was James’s response.
The “More Than An Athlete” mantra has taken on a life of its own, causing James to speak out about other issues and put his money where his mouth is to raise awareness. From his I Promise school in Akron, Ohio to his charitable work, James is spreading awareness in many ways.
LeBron James’ TV activism
James has attached his name to all sorts of projects with help from his SpringHill Entertainment production company, which produces everything from big-screen movies to TV series. In 2018, James launched a show based on his mantra, where he followed the journey of he and his friends from their childhood to where they are today.
The series, which appeared on ESPN+, chronicled James not as the basketball player, but as a human being. This was not the only way James uses his platform to spread the message, either. He’s produced and appeared in a series called “Shut Up and Dribble.” In it, he references Ingraham’s criticism and chronicles the history of NBA players using their platforms for good.
James has also utilized his mantra via his popular shoes, especially a recent addition to his collection.
James’ activism via shoes
James recently posted a picture of his shoes on Instagram. The blue and white shoes have a sleek design, with a white bottom and a textured blueprint around the top. The words “More Than An Athlete” appear over the laces. James has never been a stranger to adding messages to his shoes, but it’s usually with a pen before games.
The 35-year-old has been one of the most outspoken supporters of Colin Kaepernick both before and after he signed with Nike. After Nike showed they were willing to go political with the football star’s shoes, James did a version for his message.
James continues to do good work in communities. With this mantra, shows, and shoes, he gets his message heard by its largest possible audience.