“LEAVE THESE KIDS ALONE!” | Bronny James Goes To The Prom, And The Culture Rejects His White Date

(Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images)

Bronny James went to the prom with all the appropriate pomp the son of a superstar should receive except with one unintended consequence; the shock and awe of Bronny’s date being a young white girl.

Black Twitter erupted in disappointment.

Immediately, the protestations of Bronny’s dating choice were apparent, and shame for the young man spread like wildfire.

Even LeBron’s young daughter Zhuri, who had the appropriate look of distrust for his brother’s young romance, went viral as a meme of ubiquitous Black dissatisfaction; at least that’s the social media narrative.

Life Under The Scope

In the age of digital connectedness, Bronny James has been a fixture in the minds of sports fans and pop culture enthusiasts alike. From his father’s prodigious basketball career to Bronny’s budding one, the two experience their lives perpetually in the limelight.

However, Bronny is a 17-year-old child, and although he is looked at as an athletic prospect in a world only seeking the second coming of his famous father, he is a kid that just experienced the prom for the first time.

The noise on social media was so loud that even Robert Griffin III came to Bronny’s digital protection.

Fall Back

“LEAVE THESE KIDS ALONE!
People clowning Bronny for his prom date are just miserable. Let them enjoy their day.”

Griffin is married to Grete Sadeiko, an Estonian athlete who also is white. Bronny attends Sierra Canyon School in Los Angeles. The school has notable alumni like Kylie and Kendall Jenner, Willow Smith, and the children of a host of other famous people.

It is a culturally diverse environment for privileged children, and Bronny James is one of them. That is his story, not the story of his parents.

Love & Basketball

The love affair that produced him is the stuff of legend for Black America. A young talented basketball player with a million-dollar skill falls in love with his high school sweetheart, and the two take a journey to the top of the basketball world.

Toss in the willingness to become the example of Black family excellence through the odds a Midwest life and teenage pregnancy can bring, and you have the makings of a Tyler Perry movie.

However, celebrity perception can be misleading because it lends the world only to believe what they see. So when people see something unexpected, it doesn’t feel familiar. In a media landscape where there are not a lot of fairytale Black love stories, the community accepts the ones that feel authentic.

Not Your Teenage Standard-Bearer

America loves a good story until they meet the realities of the people within it. A mother’s pride for her son’s prom night became subverted into an excoriation of their son’s romantic decision-making. A sister’s protection transformed into the scowl of Black America. Being Bronny James was hard enough of a job for a kid who didn’t ask for one.

Now he has to be the standard-bearer of his parent’s fan-branded Black love?

There is an adage that you only live long enough to see yourself become the villain. Who knew that extended to kids, and Bronny James is the latest victim of that truism.

Rhett Butler is a Boxing Writer Association of America Journalist, Play-By-Play Commentator, Combat Sports Insider, and Former Mixed Martial Arts and Boxing Promoter. The New York City native honed his skills at various news outlets including but not limited to: TIME Magazine, Money Magazine, CNN's Wolf Blitzer Reports, and more. Rhett hosts the PRITTY Left Hook podcast, a polarizing combat sports insider's take featuring the world's biggest names.