Cleveland's LeBron James banner to come down for the RNC convention. Should it stay up? | The Tylt
Talking Points Memo calls it "the pride of Cleveland"—a gigantic-sized LeBron James banner hanging on the wall of Sherwin-Williams Co. world headquarters overlooking downtown Cleveland. The iconic sign has only gotten more attention with the Cavaliers' NBA championship win last week. The championship was Cleveland's first national sporting title in more than 52 years. It was just updated with a laser projection to add the word "champions." And the Republican National Committee is now going to take the sign down. Like .... what?
Should the Republican National Committee leave the banner up?
Cleveland's ABC 5 reported that the RNC already had standing plans to remove the image of James on July 5 in favor of a red, white and blue image declaring "this land is our land" for the Republican National Convention July 18-21 (photo below). Removing a celebrated tribute to Cleveland's favorite son might have been upsetting to Ohioans before; now with post-championship fever at its peak, the removal is even more controversial. The optics of taking down the image of a Black sports hero have been called particularly poor in light of the Republicans' low approval ratings from African-Americans. There's already a Change.org petition called "Leave It Up!," which has garnered nearly 10,000 signatures at this writing. A sample comment from the petition:
"[James] is someone who brings this city together rather than tearing us apart. Leave this banner as a symbol of CLEVELAND'S unity, perseverance, loyalty, and pride. We are proud! Don't take that away from the city."
Others argue that the banner could be great for RNC and its attendees. Plus, fans will be thrilled to see it and convention visitors will love taking pictures with it. Sherwin-Williams is assuring fans that the banner will go back up this fall. Even some Cavs fans don't care and say it's just an image. But it's still currently scheduled to come down and be replaced with the RNC banner.
Should the banner stay up? Or should James' fans just deal with it and wait until it's back up in the fall?
What do you think: #LeaveLeBronUp or #TakeLeBronDown?
Cleveland's LeBron James banner to come down for the RNC convention. Should it stay up?