In fact, for some the issue is not really that James left. After all, others have also done so, including the original Cleveland Browns.

Instead, there is lingering resentment over the way James declared he was leaving — in a nationally televised announcement. “It’s respect,” Rob Wilson said as he waited for his haircut. “It’s all about respect, and he didn’t show any.” The frequent analogy is that the broadcast amounted to someone publicly breaking up with his girlfriend.