The Family Research Council’s Craig James, a former professional football player and sports broadcaster, has a new strategy to win the Black Church to the Republican Party: recruit LeBron James to be a Religious Right spokesman.
James spoke last week with conservative Virginia activist E.W. Jackson on the FRC’s “Washington Watch” program last week, where the two called on Black Church leaders to oppose Democratic candidates and instead back Republican politicians. James hailed Jackson, the 2013 GOP nominee for lieutenant governor, who lost by over 10 points, as a “phenomenal candidate” (he wasn’t), and wondered how black pastors can start building relationships with the GOP.
One way black voters will realize that Republicans will help them, James said, is if “role models coming from the sports community” tout their conservative effort: “There’s so much focus on these superstars within our communities and a guy like LeBron James. I like the NBA, I’m a huge fan of LeBron’s, I don’t know him personally, I would be highly disappointed if I’m wrong in the image that he portrays, but someone like LeBron James at some point has to step up in a political manner and say what you’re saying, stand toe-to-toe with you, Bishop E.W. Jackson, in these communities to get the attention and the trust of the folks for the vote.”
Jackson, for his part, criticized black leaders for wearing “Hands Up Don’t Shoot” shirts (LeBron James wore an “I Can’t Breathe” shirt during warmups). The Virginia preacher has long demanded that black leaders abandon Democrats for allegedly supporting the agenda of the Antichrist.
LeBron James would be quite the recruit, especially considering that he hosted a giant rally for then-candidate Barack Obama in 2008.