left Cleveland for Miami in 2010. (John Biever/SI)
By Rob Mahoney
Winning a championship in utterly dominant fashion has done wonders for LeBron James' public image, but no accomplishment nor length of time can change the opinions of James' most vitriolic critics. The fashion in which he left Cleveland will always resonate with some, namely the Cavs die-hards who felt personally betrayed by the home-grown superstar turning his back on the city. Jerseys were burned, books were written and, apparently, some local Ohio residents even attempted to inscribe their hatred for James on their very own vanity license plate.
According to the Dayton Daily News, a number of LeBron-inspired license plates -- including IH8LBJ, LBJSUX, and EFFLBJ -- were among those rejected by Ohio's Special Plate Screening Committee. Feel their wrath, LeBron. Their H8tred runs so deep that they attempted to affix it to their otherwise sensible sedans, despite the fact that the Cavaliers you departed are moving in a new direction behind instant star Kyrie Irving.
All of that said, it's interesting that these plates, silly though they may be, were rejected in the first place. A quick perusal through the list of the other rejected ideas (discretion advised for the easily offended) shows some messages that were barred for straightforward reasons, but saying that LeBron James "SUX" wouldn't seem to trip any obvious alarms. The above Dayton Daily News post actually excerpts the exact guidelines of vanity plate approval, which are as follows:
In reviewing requests for special license plates, the BMV shall reject any request that contains words, combinations and/or phrases (in any language or when read either frontward or backward) that
1. Are Profane (that is swearwords or expletives)
3. Sexually explicit or
4. Scatological (having to do with fecal excrement);
5. Are so offensive that they could reasonably be expected to provoke a violent response rom viewers without additional comment; or
6. Advocate immediate lawlessness, or
7. Advocate lawless activities.
"EFFLBJ" is rejected on pretty clear grounds, but on what basis are these other bitter Ohioans being denied the chance to properly display their contempt for LeBron?
H/T: The Big Lead