The Olympics buzz earlier today was that USA Olympics Swimmer Lauren Perdue turned down NBA Basketball Legend and USA Olympics Dream Team Basketball Player LeBron James. (I should also add NBA Champion, too)
We know this because Lauren herself put it out there on Twitter.
According to the New York Daily News – because Lauren has since removed the tweet – she tweeted this:
Perdue (@LoPerdue) tweeted “Lebron James just invited me to dinner… Um wuuuutttt?!?” She also sent out an Instagram picture of her standing with a horn-rim clad James and the caption “Oh heyy Lebon.”
Oh, and the photo is the one I used in my video above, and in this blog post.
At first, I didn’t bother to – well, I didn’t want to consider that race could be a factor. I first considered LeBron’s relationship status. But then I wondered if Lauren knew that herself – I doubt it.
As I approach 50, I have learned of something I call a “racial boundary issue.” That is, I’ve found that for some white women, and who are now generally older, I could have them as friends, but it was hard to get any closer than that. There was always something – some excuse. That racial dynamic is less and less today, which makes Lauren’s reaction so strange.
As for me, I didn’t know what was happening until one episode I had with a friend at the 2004 Super Bowl opened my eyes.
I didn’t think she had this problem, but it came out as we were sharing a hotel room. I’ll not go into detail here, but it was a turning point for me because she admitted that she had a problem with black male stereotypes she held in her head. This was after going to a Super Bowl party where several Denver Broncos players were in attendance, yet she wanted to maintain a distance. Finally she talked to a few of the players.
But later, during the argument that caused her to admit her issue, she said that she did have a race problem and that she didn’t know who the players were. “They were just common bros as fas as I knew.” That’s what she said.
That changed how I viewed the World around me.
So far forward to this matter, and I wondered if Lauren had some issue she was not willing to admit to. A race issue. I could be wrong. Maybe it was the timing of the “ask” – perhaps it was late at night. But why not say “Sometime later?” Or why not “How about lunch?”
Maybe, at 21, Lauren’s too young to know what to do in that situation. But what started me thinking about race was her Twitter profile where she brags that she’s a “Southern Girl.”
Member of the USA Olympic swim team and student-athlete at the University of Virginia. Southern girl at heart and will never forget my roots in eastern NC
Well, to me, that means race is somewhere in the mix.