From the streets of Akron to household names heard around the world, LeBron James and Maverick Carter have certainly made a name for themselves from LeBron’s on the court domination to their efforts as ambassadors of the black community. With HBO’s The Shop, James and Carter talk about real life issues with well-known men and women. In their most recent episode, they sat down with Jamie Foxx, Meek Mill, 2 Chainz, Antonio Brown, Jerrod Carmichael, and Anthony Davis. These men went on to discuss different topics, some more eye opening than others.
Comedians will become extinct?
Following the fallout with Kevin Hart and the Oscars, we learn that not everyone laughs at what comes out of the mouth of a comedian. Some feel it’s their job to toe the line and joke on things that may be offensive. Carmichael mentions that he doesn’t like this new expectation where entertainers must be civil rights leaders. “Entertaining is art! Its about showing your craft and your flaws. It shouldn’t be beholden to a political obligation.”
With all his success, LeBron credits his family and community support for where he is today. Being on the cover of Sports Illustrated at the age of 16 is fame and pressure that no one can ever imagine. He spoke about having a group of friends who have been on this journey with him and they are all successful. Then he talked about 5 other friends that are dead and didn’t make it. “We all played sports growing up. But what happened that stopped me from going the wrong way?” LeBron said. It is important how we try to raise kids. Support their dreams and work so that they have great futures. Anthony Davis credits his parents who still attend all his games and look for nothing in return.
Controlling the Narrative
It’s no secret that media stories get leaked and some stories may be blown out of proportion, Antonio Brown believes that whoever is controlling the narrative ultimately wins. In his situation, he believed that Ben Roethlisberger and Mike Tomlin painted him to be cancer and a problem in the locker room. Controlling the narrative should always be done in good faith or you’ll have people suffering for no reason. Meek Mill spoke about how he was locked up for violating payroll when all he did was ride a bike. He found himself in prison where he was with “Lifers, rapist, and people on probation”. Probation keeps the system going, you can be sent back to jail without even committing a crime and the system needs to change. Reasons like this are why Meek Mill is adamant and working on police reform in America.
Progress over Pride
Lebron points out that one of the biggest issues with African Americans is that we put our pride over progress. We let our pride stunt the growth of what we individually can actually make, create and be with our lives. There is nothing wrong with understanding your greatness and believing in yourself. But you shouldn’t close doors on certain opportunities or think you are bigger than a moment and let your pride get in the way of you progressing. There is nothing better than making progress, knowledge i power and that doesn’t only pertain to school, knowledge of life is key.
Comfortable being Uncomfortable
When you are comfortable being uncomfortable you allow yourself to be pushed to your limits. Generally, too many African Americans are content with their situation, content with their failures, content with settling and not giving their all. You should want to be greedy with success to the point where you are comfortable with how uncomfortable it gets to chase your dream. LeBron even commended Colin Kaepernick because of the sacrifice he has taken just to keep police brutality a conversation.
The Shop continues to talk about everyday life, and at the same time, the show does a great job showing us the mind and life struggles of iconic people that we forget sometimes are still just human. Not only is it raw, but it’s down to earth and it’s one of the few times we get to see our favorite celebrities in front of the camera being 100% honest with us as fans. It is our job to keep the tough conversations going and challenge ourselves to be the change we want to see.
The Shop airs Friday’s on HBO at 10:00 pm ET.