MAYFIELD HEIGHTS- Imagine being a Cleveland sports fan, and sitting down for your driver’s license photo, and under the camera is an image of LeBron James in a Lakers uniform.
That’s exactly happened to a Cleveland native now living in Israel, after a long frustrating day of trying to renew his driver's license at the BMV in Mayfield Heights.
Roni Zemelman told Fox 8, "We don't hate LeBron, I don't hate LeBron, I'm very appreciative of LeBron, but it's sad to see him in another uniform and that's what it did, it was just a little sad and I didn't smile and I thought that's what they wanted so I didn't smile."
When Zemelman posted a photo of “Laker LeBron,” at the BMV on social media, it went viral and Clevelanders and people around the world are weighing in on how they would react to the photo.
"I would smile because I'm a LeBron follower, so everybody else in Cleveland or Ohio, I would understand if I see a whole bunch of frowns from now on,” said John Sheets, a self-described LeBron fan.
The man who put up the photo, BMV Deputy Registrar Tom Vorell, says it was meant as an inside joke among Clevelanders and also as a stress reliever for those standing in line at the BMV.
Vorell says claims that the BMV does not allow smiles on license photos are not accurate. He says “neutral or natural” smiles are permitted, but there’s nothing neutral about the way Clevelanders are reacting to LeBron as a Laker.
Vorell told Fox 8, "we all know what happened, we're grateful that LeBron brought us a championship but at the same time, you know we don't all have to be happy that he left, so it's just a way of getting a good little barb and both to him and to us."
He says the last time he created this kind of stir at the BMV was when he put up a Sports Illustrated cover of Art Modell after he moved the Browns from Cleveland to Baltimore.
Vorell says when the LeBron photo is taken down, he is thinking about replacing it with a photo of Francisco Lindor of the Indians, because he says that will make every Cleveland fan smile.