I recently wrote a piece about the many ways LeBron James supports his fellow Ohioans. It seems James is also working in the interest of America as a whole. TMZ reports that James was among those who helped convince Justin Bieber not to play a concert in Cleveland tangentially affiliated with the Republican National Convention.
Bieber reportedly received an offer to perform for 45 minutes at a venue near Quicken Loans Arena during the RNC. He would have been paid $5 million for the gig, his highest payday ever by far. Per sources at Bieber’s talent agency CAA, the promoter claimed the event was “not political” and did not amount to an endorsement of Donald Trump or the GOP. Yet the concert was bankrolled by GOP donors, and Bieber was forbidden from badmouthing the party, its policies, or its candidate. And when Bieber’s manager Scooter Braun, who hosted a fundraiser for Hillary Clinton at his LA home, suggested that Bieber hang Black Lives Matter banners at the event, promoters responded that Bieber would only be allowed to hang All Lives Matter banners.
Bieber was considering accepting the deal because he’s Canadian and has no political affiliation. But Braun (pictured with Bieber above) reportedly told Bieber that if he chose to take the gig, he would no longer manage the pop star on principle. Bieber’s all-black band also advised him not to perform. And although promoters told Bieber that Cleveland hero LeBron would be at the event, when Bieber’s people got in touch with LeBron’s people they learned that not only would the NBA Finals MVP not be at the event, he wouldn’t even be in Cleveland during the convention. Team LeBron joined the chorus of those urging Bieber not to perform.
Ultimately Bieber opted not to take the deal, but it couldn’t have been easy to turn down $5 million for one 45-minute concert. What would you have done?