Consumer Group Tells LeBron James: Drop McDonald's Sponsorship, Stop Enticing Kids to Eat Junk Food!

Corporate Accountability International is asking LeBron James to end his affiliation with McDonald's as part of a campaign it is calling "Slam Junk." In an open letter to LeBron, CAI asks him to end his partnership with the fast-food titan in an attempt to set a better example for kids. CAI has also launched a petition online for those who want to show support for the campaign.

In an email, CAI writes:

"LeBron James is paid millions by McDonald's each year to help hook kids on its greasy cheeseburgers, fries drenched in fat and sodas full of sugar and corn syrup. And when the McDonald's All American Game kicks off in Chicago today, these dangerous and unhealthy products will take center court.

"Before the game tips off tonight, tell LeBron James: It's time to #SlamJunk and drop your sponsorship with McDonald's -- a deal that helps McDonald's make billions at the expense of our children.

LeBron James is a role model to countless kids across the country. And McDonald's wants to exploit his status to entice children to buy more junk food. Cashing in on an athlete's star power to spread an epidemic of diet-related disease is simply deceptive and disgusting.

But we can do something about it, Friend. McDonald's has recently lost its golden varnish because of nationwide strikes, new reports exposing its predatory food marketing and a torrent of bad publicity. It's up to us to convince LeBron James he doesn't need to tarnish his name and his hard work by partnering with McDonald's."

CAI points out in its open letter to LeBron that it believes he cares about children's health, because he's proven so in the past.

"We know you are deeply concerned about this dire health crisis: your partnership with Michelle Obama's Let's Move! campaign and your public statements make it clear that you want our children to grow up healthy and strong like you. Unfortunately, your association with McDonald's directly contradicts these sentiments."

Earlier this year, it was reported LeBron James pulls in $40 million in endorsement income a year from corporate giants such as Nike, Coca-Cola, Samsung, and McDonald's. LeBron was ranked as Forbes' fourth-highest-paid athlete in the world in 2013.

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Ryan Yousefi is a freelance writer for Miami New Times, a lover of sports, and an expert consumer of craft beer and pho. Hanley Ramirez once stole a baseball from him and to this day still owes him $10.
Contact: Ryan Yousefi