It turns out LeBron James has power in Cleveland beyond the Cavaliers.
According to a report from TMZ, Justin Bieber was offered $5 million to perform at an event during the Republican National Convention in Cleveland last week. While Bieber was considering taking the money and performing, he eventually turned down the gig after persuasion from his manager, Scooter Braun, and the aforementioned NBA superstar.
Bieber was set to perform at a venue near Quicken Loans Arena, according to his representatives. The performance would be about 45 minutes and was not supposed to be a sign of support for the party or presidential nominee Donald Trump
However, Braun was adamant in making sure his client didn’t perform (via TMZ).
We’re told Scooter wasn’t heavy-handed at first, and talked to Justin about putting Black Lives Matter banners up in the venue. We’re told Braun was told he could not display BLM banners, but the donors would accept banners that read “All Lives Matter.” The donors also made it clear … Justin could say nothing disparaging about Trump or the GOP.
We’re told Scooter told Justin it was up to him if he wanted to do the show, but he said he couldn’t continue to represent the singer if he did, out of principle. Scooter felt the GOP was using Bieber as its tool.
James had also refused a request to participate in the convention. The Cavaliers star was supposed to help welcome the RNC to Cleveland but later decided against it. The decision had a lot to do with the RNC’s lack of support for Black Lives Matter.
Bieber and James are among a number of celebrities who have made headlines around the conventions, though it’s hard to know whether the celebrity appearances and opinions make a difference in the minds of voters.