What Does the Ring Really Mean?

So as you have no doubt heard by now, Miami Heat player LeBron James has proposed to his longtime girlfriend and mother of his two children, Savannah Brinson.

One search of online blogs will reveal women, mostly African American, jumping for joy and celebrating “Black Love.”

I on the other hand, though happy for couple, have an entirely different take on the situation.

Yes Savannah now has a ring, but what does it really mean? Brinson has been with LeBron since high school, lives with him and is supported by him. In other words, LeBron has been behaving like a husband to Savannah for years now.

I think as a group, Black women have been convinced that they are “lesser than” if they aren’t married or somehow attached to a man. It is this sort of thinking that is causing ppl to be all geeked up over Savannah’s new ring, even though it doesn’t mean a thing.

LeBron’s proposal doesn’t mean he loved her any less than he did before he proposed. It doesn’t mean he wasn’t completely devoted to Savannah and his children before. Likewise, finally putting a ring on it doesn’t mean LeBron won’t someday leave or that the couple will indeed last until death do them part.

All it means is that LeBron is now ready to make Savannah his legal wife in the eyes of the law.

Ring or no ring, Savannah doesn’t have any more or less value than she had a week ago.

Black women, all women for that matter, should not be tricked into believing their worth lies in whether or not they are married or attached to a man at the hip.

Now don’t get me wrong, I am pro marriage as an institution. But I also recognize that it is no guarantee of a fairytale life. Just ask Siohvaughn Wade, Tami Roman, Shaunie O’Neal, Juanita Jordan, Jennifer Williams… do you need me to go on?

So let’s be happy for Savannah for the right reasons; and not because we think she, or women in general, somehow gain status by simply getting married.


  1. Why an engagement? You already live together, have 2 kids together, been together since high school. You know each other inside and out. At this point, just get married next week and call it the day. That’s so funny, people play house, and then want to play traditional when it suits them. I’m not judging Savannah and LBJ, the situation in general.

    Modern women may not want to embrace marriage. But, I want to embrace it, I don’t want to live alone without a husband and kids, and I’m not one to shack up with a man , have babies and no legal document. Because guess what, i. I’m not trying to live in sin, if I can willingly avoid it. 2. If that man dies, and you have property , than the family, can kick you out, and get the assets, especially if he didn’t leave a will. Look at Christie from Love and Hip Hop, she had access to his money, but the minute she voiced her anger, Jim was like , My money, my car, I cop that. A live in girlfriend does not have the same rights as a wife. And she shouldn’t, because it’s not the same. It’s a known fact that couples who live together , first marriages don’t last. And if a man values your love and respect you, he would put a ring on it, immediately.

  2. Sista you hit the nail on the head. Black women are so desperate for marriage because they think it will validate them and make them feel like somebody. Case in point, a girl who used to post here once admitted that she felt superior to black women who aren’t married (she was black too).

    Black women need to get off Savannah’s back because she will be alright. Her relationship with Lebron has already lasted longer than the average marriage anyway.

    Married or single, Savannah has got it going on all by herself.

  3. I appreciate the writers opinion as she is free to express her opinion as much as we are free to do so as well. I just want to underscore the point that most often what we read are usually more opinion than fact, and its important to know the difference. So, I will just add my two cents to the opinion at hand. Why cant we just celebrate with them without reading more into than what it basically is? I think folks love Lebron and they are genuinely happy that he is fully committing to someone who’s been there for him through thick and thin instead of running off with some random groupie that came along after the money and fame. Every one of every race always love a story where the hero and heroin walks off into the sunset living happily everafter. Why should it be any different for african americans? I am so sick of folks knocking the sail out of every ounce of our happiness like we should be miserable as if blackness should be our mood as well as our race. If we straighten our hair, we are not celebrating our blackness. If we get married, we are celebrating who we are as an individual. If we have kids before marriage, we are nothing and never going anywhere. If we wait to have kids after marriage, we are too old to have kids or why do we have to wait for a man to have a family. If we didnt celebrate with Lebron and Savannah, them we are the most hateful bitter and angry women of all the races. Dang! Can a sista catch a break?! I am so sick of being analyzed? I was sad about the way Mrs. Obama is constantly criticized for every move she makes. And, when I think about, every black woman is criticized constantly and most often unfairly for every move or thought we make. I think its time for us to be appreciated for our opinions and contributions, without it being second guessed or overanalyzed. Thanks for hearing me out.

  4. i agree with the weekend on their comment. why can’t we just learn to celebrate with people when they choose to do something they want and it is not hurting anyone or taking away from anyone. And i don’t think it is fair to say someone is desperate to be a wife because as you mentioned about your support of marriage, they just might love the idea of being legally bound to someone. But thanks for your article it was well explained.

  5. Whar makes you all think Lebron wasn’t already fully committed to Savannah?

  6. i agree with the last 2 commentators…

    this article spewed nothing but hate to me IMO.

    and this is coming from a 29 yr old married woman with no children.

    celebrate love, don’t analyze it.

    this sounds like Sandra Rose wrote it.

  7. I have a friend who got married recently and started talking down to me because I am divorced. She would say things like “I’m married now, I can’t do that” or “You’re the only one of your siblings not married”. She was with this man 18 years before his unemployed, never had a job and never will get one self married her. When I was married, I never once treated my “friend” any differently. I am divorce because I choose not to settle. Women were coming to her house 3 days before her marriage saying “That’s my man!” My point is, a lot of people put too much stock into being married. But don’t dumb down those who aren’t.

  8. I don’t hate on people LIVERPOOL. On the other hand, sistas have been going in on Savannah for months because she has children and is not married, as if that has never been done before.

    I was never one of those ppl who felt like LeBron didn’t love or respect Savannah simply because he hadn’t yet married her. As the article said, they have built a life and home together and to me that is what makes them a family and Savannah on the same level as a married woman.

    For many women marriage has become just a status symbol and for black women we are made to feel like if a man doesn’t marry us ASAP then there must be something wrong with us.

    A lot of ppl are celebrating this proposal for status reasons only. But what I am saying is that Savannah is valuable with or without a ring. I’m happy she has one, but we should stop putting all of our value and worth on whether or not we are married.

    Plenty of white celebs are committed to each other sans a ring and no one ever questions why the man hasn’t yet married the woman. A white woman is not considered less valuable if she isn’t married.

    I have never heard anyone ask why Brad Pitt won’t marry Angelina Jolie or claim he must not really love her and their children. But these questions are asked about Savannah and lots of other black women constantly.

  9. Sista, I am sorry, but I get so sick and tired of “us” saying well “white people” wouldn’t do that or if it was a “white person” they wouldn’t do this… I mean really? Why do we as a race feel that we have to constantly live up to and compare ourselves to how white people carry themselves? We as minorities are so foolish and spend too much time worried about and seeking some form of approval from the white man. I say minorities because many of my Asian and Hispanic friends say the same thing. I see “massa” still got us under mind control!…. Sad and pathetic.

  10. I think it is great that he finally asked her to marry him. There are legal benefits to being married and as long as she was still a baby mama, she wasn’t seeing any of those benefits. Is she more valuable now? Probably not, but then again, at least it’s a gesture of serious commitment.

    What I’m really concerned about is Savannah’s employment or lack thereof. I have noticed that she does not have stable employment and while being a stay at home mom is great and all, she needs to attach herself to something outside of being Lebron’s wife. She needs to make sure that she is not completely dependable on him. What happens if this marriage never happens or he gets an iron clad pre-nup and she’s not entitled to any of his money outside of child support? What skills does she have to fall back on? I think it’s great that she’s a dedicated mother, however, she and others like her need to realize that being a basketball wife isn’t going to last forever. If LeBron doesn’t invest his money properly, he’ll struggle financially in the future like many of the other retired players. Where does that leave her and her children? I think in this day and age, it is important to make sure that you are independent and can make it on your own if your man ever leaves you. She’s vulnerable in her position and I really hope that she and others like her are making smart choices financially. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket ladies; make sure that you have other options!

  11. Well stated WOHOO. My primary concern with marriage is the legalities of it all. Too many ladies who have been with their man, living as husband and wife, are left to fight in court if/when that man dies without a will. If he loves her and want to make sure he provides for her as long as he is able, then legalize it.

    Also, having one’s own identity, goals, accomplishments, and means of financial support OUTSIDE of the marriage/relationship is critical, in my humble opinion.


  12. What about celebrating doing what is right finally in the eyes of GOD, according to the word, not society or what white folk do.
    Just a thought.

  13. What about celebrating doing what is right finally in the eyes of GOD, according to the word, not society or what white folk do.
    Just a thought.

    thank you very much i so agree!

    stop reading so deeply into other peoples relationships, it comes off as so negative.

    damned if you do, damned if you don’t.

  14. I am so happy for this sista!!! 10 CARATS means a lot!! I am married and I tell you I wish it was me!!LOL LOL and so does a whole lot of other women. Savannah is bless a many of my black sistas will never even get a man with the statistics of our black men. I am very happy for you my sista!! GOD BLESS!

  15. It’s unfortunate that women like Savanah unknowingly teach men that they can string women as long as they want, and when they are done with screwing around, they will put a ring on your finger… She is better than me because no men on a planet could have fool me out, and had two kids with me without a mariage.

  16. congrats Savanah and James communicate, listen, love, learn how to admit your mistake, trust each other , make love,laugh and stay best friend

  17. This is a great discussion, especially, since black women and our marriage prospects are constantly in the news! As others have stated, the legal situation is what makes marriage most important in my opinion, it doesn’t necessarily mean more of a commitment. Character and integrity doesn’t require a license. I see friends and friends of friends marry for the sake of saying they’re married and often their lives take a turn for the worst! I believe marriage should be the goal, but if a person isn’t ready they’re just not. The person has the option of moving on.

    Savannah is fortunate in that LeBron hasn’t traded her in for something new. Most live-ins, baby mamas don’t make it to the altar from my observation. Women often waste their time, only to be left ringless (a problem if they wanted one). Their value isn’t less, but there is a double standard for black celebrities who don’t marry. With everyday people, we almost forget the couple aren’t legally married after awhile and happy if and when they decide to tie the knot.

    I also agree that Savannah and others should create an identity of their own outside of being wife and mom. They should have their own business or a career. Eddie Murphy’s ex-wife divorced and basically gave away her multi-million dollar settlement. She should have better prepared herself for a life outside of being a wife and mother.

    Marriage and money can also be a prison! Power couples aren’t always what they appear to be. Lasting relationships take a lot of work of any sort, for some reason “mutual respect” is quite elusive in most relationships!

  18. It took him 8 years and 2 kids to propose. I wonder how long it is going to take for the actual wedding, another 8 years??? If that makes her happy then she should go for it. It wouldn’t be me. 8 years no ring..child please (in my Ochocinco voice)..lol

  19. My anniversary is January 10th but my husband doesn’t make a big deal out of it. WHY? Because he thinks that that was just the date we got married, for all he knows, we have been like “married” right after we met, that to him, I was already his wife even when we were started dating. So when people ask him “How long have you been married”, his answer is “7 years”, the total years we’ve been a couple.

    Even if I have always dreamt about a fairytale wedding, we didn’t have any… we just celebrated with parents over a nice meal. The reason is my husband and I have always told each other than we want a marriage, not a wedding.

    And I agree with SISTA because as my husband says it best “I don’t love any different just because we’re engaged/married”

  20. Why is it that everything we want there always has to be a negative side added to it. If you don’t want to be married or don’t believe in marraige then don’t get married but don’t try and make others feel like they feel they are inadequated because that is what they desire. Maybe black women have seen the effects of trying to be everything to everyone and do everything for everyone and has finally realized there is a reason God created Adam.

    You look at our communities and our children and you tell me marriage is not worth it. Nothing is guaranteed in life but it has been proven that children that come from a two parent household certainly fairs better in school and life in general. I personally am under the believe that so many black women have gotten so use to the unnormal that we have convinced ourselves that it is not natural to want to have a husband.

    If certain woman want to be by themselves and marriage does not mean anything to them that is your right but don’t try to make other women feel like marriage is not important because you don’t deem it so. I say you go girl and get your husband. Go through something with a man and you will find out just how important that peace of paper and that ring is.

  21. @Bria- I completely agree. I was gonna say almost the same exact thing. Just because something isn’t “your” way doesn’t mean it isn’t the right way.

  22. @Sista – You have made some excellent points in this post. I don’t feel that you were negative at all.

  23. Bria that was the realist thing I have seen on this web page! Although she has been living with James for years, she does not have the rights a married woman would have. Marriage is something to strive for.

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