When it comes to American public opinion on LeBron James it's all about race. African Americans have a very favorable view of the basketball star, with 63% seeing him favorably to only 8% unfavorably. But whites see him pretty dimly, with only 9% holding a positive opinion of him and 35% seeing him in a negative light. It adds up to overall negative feelings toward James with 19% of Americans seeing him favorably and 29% holding an unfavorable opinion.
Other observations from the poll:
-The 52% of respondents with no opinion about James one way or the other is a little surprising after all the attention he got last week and perhaps a reminder that most Americans just aren't all that interested in the NBA.
-One thing whites and blacks are in agreement on is that the way James handled his free agency caused them to lower their opinion of him. Only 9% say that they have a higher opinion of him now than they did before he went on the market, compared to 29% who now have a lower opinion of him. 31% of whites and 29% of blacks view James less favorably now than they did previously.
-This is highly correlated with the numbers on race but James gets less and less popular as you move right across the ideological spectrum. With liberals he's on positive ground at 25/22 but with moderates it's negative at 24/30 and with conservatives it's especially negative at 12/32.
It's clear James has taken a hit in the court of public opinion...but that's probably not going to matter much if he walks off the basketball court next spring with a ring.
Full results here