LeBron James has responded to the Cincinnati bar owner who bizarrely claimed that he wouldn’t be showing any NBA games at his bar “until Lebron James has been expelled from the NBA."
In a weekend where the biggest headline-grabbing bouts should’ve come from UFC 261, the odd social media feud has stolen attention of the sporting press instead.
In one corner, we have one of the greatest NBA players in the history of the game. In the other, an Ohio bar owner who would sooner harm is own business than see athletes voice opinions about teenagers getting shot.
And the winner is...we’ll let you decide!
First Punch - Bar Owner Refuses to Show NBA Games “Until LeBron is Expelled”
Jay Linneman, owner of Linne's Pub in Delhi Township, Cincinnati, went viral after taking to Facebook to announce that the bar would no longer be showing NBA games. He went on to explain that they wouldn’t be put back on the TV until LeBron James is “expelled from the league.
The reason behind the bizarre outburst, that surely can’t be good for business, is that Linneman is against athletes voicing their opinions on political matters. He stated that athlete opinion “doesn’t really matter” and that they “just need to play the game”.
LeBron Tweets Regarding Ohio Police Shooting
Lenneman’s social media post was in response to an earlier Tweet from James, in which he directed anger towards the police office who allegedly fired the fatal shot in the killing of a teen in Columbus, Ohio.
James, who is himself an Ohio native, subsequently deleted the Tweet. He later Tweeted again in explanation though, saying that anger wasn’t the answer, but called for justice and accountability of those responsible.
The Linne’s pub owner claimed that if prominent political figures or active US presidents made similar statements, they would be impeached. His protest attempt was a bizarre one, and appeared to be a move that could hurt noone but himself.
LeBron Jabs Back with Sarcasm
Whether accidentally or not, the bar owner’s Facebook post went viral and got him plenty of exposure - though definitely not all positive. It even got the attention of LeBron James himself, who took to Twitter to come back at the bar owner with a sarcastic retort. His post read: “Aww Damn! I was headed there to watch our game tonight and have a drink! Welp.”
What Has the Bar Owner Achieved?
So we return to the earlier question - who’s the winner in this fight?
Let’s start off by stating the obvious - LeBron James was never going to be the loser in all of this. However the very fact that the bar owner even got his attention could even been seen as something of a victory for him.
Had it not went viral, Linneman’s Facebook post could have appeared suicidal from a business perspective. Refusing to show sports games and exposing your controversial political stance surely has little chance of bring more people through the door of a bar. Depends what type of bar it is we suppose - if you’ve been to Linne’s Pub, please let us know in the comments!
There’s No Such Thing as Bad Publicity
In the end though, it looks like the the owner of Linne's Pub in Delhi Township has earned a little victory, and it all comes down to the old cliché of “there’s no such thing as bad publicity”.
Has Jay Linneman, owner of Linne’s Pub, proven himself to be a PR genius who has just put his bar on the map for anyone and everyone who might pass through Cincinnati in the near future. Or is this simply a case of dumb luck?
We’ll likely never know, but there is one little telltale sign that Jay Linneman perhaps hadn’t quite foreseen the extent to which his Facebook out burst would blow up. We wanted to check out and reach out to Linne’s Pub, and so we headed to their website only to be met with a “509 Bandwidth Limit Exceeded” message.
Seems as though Mr. Linneman wasn’t quite aware or prepared for the storm he was about to cause…
Have You Ever Been to Linne’s Pub in Delhi Township - Let Us Know!
Admittedly, we couldn’t find a single member of the TSFJ team who has ever passed through the doors of Linne’s Pub - but we’re keen to find any of you who have. If you’re a Cincinnati native, or have simply stopped off at Linne’s for a cold one while passing through, be sure to let us know!
Either sign off in the comments or Tweet us @theSFjournal to let us know about your experiences with Linne’s Pub - the most famous bar in America...for the next fifteen minutes anyway.
Michael McKean is an experienced writer with a portfolio that includes work on the subjects of sport, gambling, travel and finance. With a background rooted in journalism, Michael first ventured into the professional writing world based in Switzerland, where he wrote for a number of language and travel sites and magazines before moving into the world of sports writing and gambling sites.
As an avid soccer fan, who follows everything from the Scottish lower leagues to the European elites, he has earned himself a solid reputation as a reliable football betting tipster and predictor. Outside of work, Michael has always gotten involved with grassroutes football everywhere he has worked and lived - UK, Spain, Portugal, Switzerland and Brazil - and still isn’t shy when it comes to pulling the boots on himself. As well as soccer, he has also developed a love of North American sports, particularly ice hockey - a love which began in Switzerland and saw him venture across the pond to follow the NHL. Moving away from dry land, he’s also a keen longboard surfer and is happiest when writing with a view of the ocean.