LeBron James has once again demonstrated that it pays to be king of the court. On Friday, King James received an impromptu police escort to Jay-Z and Justin Timberlake’s Miami concert, in violation of departmental policy. James even had the audacity to post a clip of it to Instagram:
The Miami Heat star was apparently stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic en route to the show, and with Jay-Z refusing to start the concert without James in attendance, officers at the Miami-Dade Police Department decided to provide James with an eight-block escort. (The department is claiming that the escort was somehow supposed to alleviate the traffic around the Sun Life Stadium, where the concert was held).
James’ arrogance shouldn’t come as a surprise to most, as he isn't exactly known for his modesty. He infamously predicted that he would have, “not two, not three,” but many more NBA championships, and he gave the world “The Decision.” James regularly hangs out with other high-profile celebrities, and cultivates a larger-than-life image, but to be fair to the star athlete, James’ acceptance of this particular perk of celebrity isn’t unique to him.
James is merely the latest celebrity to take advantage of his status to receive treatment normally reserved for heads of state and other high-ranking government officials. Charlie Sheen received a traffic escort in 2011, which ultimately resulted in the dismissal of the officer responsible, but that’s OK, because Sheen got in a kickass tweet, and made it to his show on time. In Washington, D.C., alone, there have been numerous instances of celebrities and the well-to-do receiving escorts from the police. It's clear that celebrities like James are regularly held to a different standard than the rest of us.
If Lebron James and other celebrities are guilty of abusing their status to warrant special treatment, then we are equally complicit for giving them that status in the first place. Is Lebron James an egotistical jerk for tying up public resources to make his VIP playdate? Yes. But we told him that it was OK to do so, and that’s because, secretly, we’re all hoping that one day, it will be us who get to flout the rules and joke about it. The next time I’m stuck in a midtown Manhattan traffic jam, I’ll secretly be sulking because I’m not the one who gets to fly by and laugh at normal schmucks like me on Instagram.