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Old 05-17-2007, 08:29 PM   #1
eliteballer
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Default LeBron James and Damon Jones didn't support Ira Newble's Darfur initiative

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LeBron James Isn't the Cavalier to Admire Most: Scott Soshnick

By Scott Soshnick

May 17 (Bloomberg) -- Which Cleveland Cavaliers' player most deserves your admiration?

Here's a hint:

He doesn't lead the team in scoring, rebounding, or, well, any meaningful basketball metric. So LeBron James is out.

Give up?

Try Ira Newble.

Unlike LeBron, Newble can't claim a $90 million endorsement contract with Nike. Ira's mug isn't plastered on downtown Cleveland's Landmark Office Towers. Nor does he appear, much less star in, television commercials.

This is what Newble does possess:

``Courage and conviction,'' says Mia Farrow, the actress and humanitarian.

Meet Ira Newble, fledgling activist.

First, some history.

President George W. Bush labeled as genocide the killings in the Darfur region of Sudan. The United Nations says the Sudanese government arms an Arab militia, the Janjaweed, which has slaughtered more than 200,000 people and made refugees of 2.5 million more.

China, the Council on Foreign Relations says, buys about two-thirds of Sudan's oil. The Sudanese government uses that money to buy weapons, many of which are made in China. Beijing is slated to host next year's Summer Olympics.

``It's a seminal moment,'' says Farrow, who has dubbed the 2008 Games the ``Genocide Olympics.''

Learning About Darfur

Newble, by his own admission, knew only ``a little'' about the atrocities before reading about Darfur in a newspaper.

Cited in the article he read earlier this season was Smith College professor Eric Reeves, who in mid-March received an e- mail from a professional basketball player whose name he didn't recognize.

``I couldn't sit back and do nothing,'' says Newble, 32, who hopes to visit Darfur this summer. ``It shouldn't just be about making money and living well. It's about what you can do for somebody else.''

With assistance from Reeves and Jill Savitt, director of the Olympic Dream for Darfur campaign, Newble drafted an open letter from professional athletes to China's government.

Newble signed it first.

Armed with information, statistics and photographs Newble made the case to his teammates that they should sign, too. They spoke as a group first, then individually.

Signing On

Newble says he referred to the movies ``Hotel Rwanda'' and ``Blood Diamond,'' knowing his teammates would be familiar with the horrors chronicled on film.

Eleven Cavaliers put pen to paper.

LeBron did not. Neither did Damon Jones, who has a marketing contract with Li-Ning Sports Goods Co. Ltd., a Chinese sneaker and apparel maker.

``It was basically not having enough information,'' LeBron said in an interview before Game 4 of his team's playoff game against the Nets in New Jersey three days ago. ``Any decision I make I have to have extensive knowledge.''

Jones declined to comment, saying ``I'm not commenting about that.''

Newble is resolute, even without the league's biggest star on board.

``This is going to be about the guys who do sign, not who don't,'' Newble says.

`Real World'

Fair enough.

Nevertheless, as Reeves says, ``It's a letter any player of conscience should be able to sign.''


``Ira is a professional athlete with a connection to the real world,'' Reeves says. ``He's not so much in the bubble of NBA stardom that he can't see people are suffering.''

Farrow has made four trips to Africa, including one to Darfur last year.

``I was transformed,'' she said. ``I was a witness.''

Witness.

Funny, that's the word Nike uses in its marketing of LeBron, who, by the way, is the National Basketball Association's ambassador in the league's business forays into the world's most-populous nation.

``You have to decide what it is you want to use your celebrity for,'' says former U.S. Senator and basketball hall of famer Bill Bradley. ``It's conceivable that some people will choose to never do it, in which case it's unfortunate. There are bigger lives that can be led.''


Newble is a role player in the star-driven NBA, a league defined by one-name wonders. You know who they are: LeBron, Dwyane, Carmelo, Kobe, Yao and Shaq.

Enjoy, Admire

If you doubt that Newble can make a difference then you should speak with Kimberly Canady, whom I met last year when the NBA and UNICEF announced an AIDS awareness campaign.

Dikembe Mutombo was there, too. He put his arms around Canady, who learned that she was HIV-positive at the age of 11. Mutombo said he cared. He said he wanted to help.

``When people see that somebody from the NBA wants to make a difference, it puts a spark in other people's heads to try and do more,'' Canady, 20, told me last week. ``One person can influence a whole bunch of people.''

True -- even a role player.

So the next time you're enjoying the Cavaliers, by all means marvel at LeBron's athleticism. Just don't forget to cheer for Ira Newble, too.

LeBron changes games. Newble aims to change hearts, minds and lives.

You decide which player is most deserving of your admiration.

(Scott Soshnick is a Bloomberg News columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.)

To contact the writer of this column: Scott Soshnick in New York at ssoshnick@bloomberg.net

LeBron following in MJ's footsteps of being a true CORPORATE PUPPET.

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?p...a_d ZUn_IWXEk
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Old 05-17-2007, 08:43 PM   #2
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Default Re: LeBron James and Damon Jones didn't support Ira Newble's Darfur initiative

it is tough to blame them. it could be taking a swipe at their employer
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Old 05-17-2007, 08:44 PM   #3
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Default Re: LeBron James and Damon Jones didn't support Ira Newble's Darfur initiative

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Originally Posted by eliteballer
LeBron following in MJ's footsteps of being a true CORPORATE PUPPET.

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?p...a_d ZUn_IWXEk

Don't be stupid. There's nothing wrong with failing to take an action because you don't have all the information.

Especially in today's society where the media has so much power, half the time you can't believe the crap you read because it's based on one person's perspective.

Ira Newble has great intentions, but from what that article says, he picked up a newspaper, read a few things about the situation and then decided to join a cause.

Sounds like actions through ignorance.

Not saying Ira is a bad person, or that he might be wrong, but it could turn out he's devoting time and money to a situation that doesn't warrant it.

Mathius
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Old 05-17-2007, 08:50 PM   #4
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Default Re: LeBron James and Damon Jones didn't support Ira Newble's Darfur initiative

Bad article. I came away from it wondering wtf it was all about.
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Old 05-17-2007, 08:54 PM   #5
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Default Re: LeBron James and Damon Jones didn't support Ira Newble's Darfur initiative

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Bad article. I came away from it wondering wtf it was all about.

? ira newble is trying to get a petition signed to fight the cause in darfur. lebron and djones didnt sign it cuz their companies have ties to china. though i wasnt sure what the petition was asking, probably for china to stop buying their oil.
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Old 05-17-2007, 09:25 PM   #6
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Default Re: LeBron James and Damon Jones didn't support Ira Newble's Darfur initiative

I personally am also active in groups concentrated to get results in Darfur. It's a shame that LeBron says that 200,000-400,000+ senseless murders is not enough information to sign a petition to get government action. If he had any gall he would sign despite being endorsed by the company. I am in the process of divesting in my 401K funds because Fidelity is one of the biggest investors to the company that drills in the Sudan. 80% of the oil profits in the Sudan go to the military that kills these people. If lack of information is truly the reason why he didn't sign it then talk to Ira Newble about it. Talk to someone Ira can refer him to. I doubt LeBron plans to learn more and I lose a lot of respect for him for that.
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Old 05-17-2007, 09:32 PM   #7
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Default Re: LeBron James and Damon Jones didn't support Ira Newble's Darfur initiative

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Originally Posted by sunsfan1357
I personally am also active in groups concentrated to get results in Darfur. It's a shame that LeBron says that 200,000-400,000+ senseless murders is not enough information to sign a petition to get government action. If he had any gall he would sign despite being endorsed by the company. I am in the process of divesting in my 401K funds because Fidelity is one of the biggest investors to the company that drills in the Sudan. 80% of the oil profits in the Sudan go to the military that kills these people. If lack of information is truly the reason why he didn't sign it then talk to Ira Newble about it. Talk to someone Ira can refer him to. I doubt LeBron plans to learn more and I lose a lot of respect for him for that.

was your 401k plan earning u 90 million?
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Old 05-17-2007, 09:36 PM   #8
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Default Re: LeBron James and Damon Jones didn't support Ira Newble's Darfur initiative

remeber when athletes used to stand up and take a stand... when tennis players refused to play in so. africa because of it's racist practices...
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Old 05-17-2007, 09:41 PM   #9
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Default Re: LeBron James and Damon Jones didn't support Ira Newble's Darfur initiative

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Originally Posted by knicks15
was your 401k plan earning u 90 million?

Did I say it was? Tell me, if LeBron and other athletes came and spoke out about the company investment in this situation do you think the company would sit back and do nothing about it?

20+ states have divested their funds from these companies. The whole University of California school system has divested their funds. Rolls ****ing Royces has divested their money.

LeBron isn't even being asked to divest money, just simply sponser a petition to stop a genocide.
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Old 05-17-2007, 09:41 PM   #10
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Default Re: LeBron James and Damon Jones didn't support Ira Newble's Darfur initiative

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Originally Posted by knicks15
was your 401k plan earning u 90 million?
even if it was, would he be risking his livelihood by signing his name?

would all $90 million go right down the drain?
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Old 05-17-2007, 09:42 PM   #11
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Default Re: LeBron James and Damon Jones didn't support Ira Newble's Darfur initiative

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though i wasnt sure what the petition was asking,

That's what I meant. Seems like the most important part of the article, and it's glossed over What exactly did they want Lebron to sign? Are there any obvious conflicts of interests? Would doing so hurt his opportunity to play in the Olympics?
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Old 05-17-2007, 09:47 PM   #12
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Default Re: LeBron James and Damon Jones didn't support Ira Newble's Darfur initiative

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Originally Posted by gigantes
even if it was, would he be risking his livelihood by signing his name?

would all $90 million go right down the drain?
no what is nike are anybody else going to do stand up and say we are releasing lebron because we support genocide? no the'd probably be forced to back him up or look incredibly stupid in the publics eye... the last thing a company like nike which has themselves been acused of human rights violations needs is to look as if they are in support of a situation like this...
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Old 05-17-2007, 10:03 PM   #13
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Default Re: LeBron James and Damon Jones didn't support Ira Newble's Darfur initiative

Even I've donated some money to help out a little in the Darfur crisis. The "not enough information" excuse is BS. What's there to know? People are getting killed and are being forced to live in the desert under twigs for shelter, you greedy bastard. If he didn't know, maybe he could take 10 minutes out of his time to know whats up. Whatever, he's already shown me prior to this that he is one of the dumbest (intellectually) players in the league so I am not surprised.
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Old 05-17-2007, 10:09 PM   #14
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Default Re: LeBron James and Damon Jones didn't support Ira Newble's Darfur initiative

...and what's this LeBron 90 million dollars BS? I just realized he doesn't even have a contract with Li-Ning so what woul he be losing? As far as I know Nike does not invest in Sudanese oil. What does he have to lose?
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Old 05-17-2007, 10:11 PM   #15
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Default Re: LeBron James and Damon Jones didn't support Ira Newble's Darfur initiative

If he had concerns about about signing the petition because of other contracts, I'm sure he would have mentioned it.
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