LeBron hearts the Yankees

LeBron James has never kept his fan loyalty to the Yankees a secret. In fact, LeBron announced to millions of people last weekend while hosting “Saturday Night Live” that he was going to be rooting for the Yankees, even if they drew the Indians in the first round of the playoffs.

Hey, everyone has a right to root for whichever team they want, even professional athletes. To each his own, right? But as a Cleveland sports fan myself, I’m not down with LeBron showing up for Game 1 at the Jake Thursday night wearing a Yankees cap, and then taunting the fans with the hat during the game. That just doesn’t sit right with me, and judging by this message board, it doesn’t sit right with a lot of Cleveland fans.

Cleveland is most definitely a football city, but LeBron is without question the face of Cleveland sports right now…at least until Brady Quinn takes the Browns to the Super Bowl. That doesn’t mean that LeBron has to root for every Cleveland sports franchise, but he crossed the line when he wore a Yankees hat to the game last night. That’d be like David Ortiz donning a Peyton Manning jersey during a Colts/Pats game in New England or, even worse, Tom Brady wearing a Yankees hat to a Sox/Yankees game at Fenway. You just don’t do it.

Yes, athletes are fans too, and they all rooted for other teams before they landed their current gigs. I get that. We all get that. But fans need to feel connected to their superstar players, to feel like they’re rooting for one of their own. LeBron showing off his Yankee pride at the Jake doesn’t have any effect on what he’s going to do on the basketball court this coming season, but it certainly has an effect on the fans’ relationship with him. That’s not to say that he’s going to get booed at The Q, but it creates that much more separation between the fans and the player.

Even worse, it leads to even more uncertainty about LeBron’s future in Cleveland. After all, if he’s not loyal to his hometown baseball team, then how loyal is he going to be to his hometown basketball team when his contract runs out, especially if a big market franchise has the cap room to give him a max deal?

Take note, LeBron: If you’re going to side with the enemy, do it in the comforts of your own home.

Follow the Scores Report editors on Twitter @clevelandteams and @bullzeyedotcom.

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