LeBron James: We Could Not Care Less About Trump
The political clout of NBA players was realized on Wednesday when LeBron James dismissed President Trump casually and bluntly.
Pressure from Trump stunted the NFL’s take a knee movement before it ever got going in a significant way. It’s the reason that its instigator, Colin Kaepernick, is still looking for a new team four years later.
On Wednesday, the president said that watching NBA players kneel makes him feel like turning off the game. However, the NBA won’t be pushed around as easily, if the comments from LeBron James are anything to go by.
LeBron James, speaking after a disappointing Lakers loss to the Thunder, instead put the situation into a wider context.
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“I really don’t think the basketball community are sad about losing his viewership, him viewing the game,” James said.
“And that’s all I got to say.”
LeBron has perhaps more influence and freedom to speak his mind than any other US athlete. In June, he formed an organization which protects the voting rights of African Americans. He used the opportunity to talk about the presidential election in November instead of Trump.
“I think our game is in a beautiful position and we have fans all over the world and our fans not only love the way we play the game, we try to give it back to them with our commitment to the game. But also respect what else we try to bring to the game and acknowledge it: what’s right and what’s wrong,” James said.
“And I hope everyone, no matter the race, no matter the color, no matter the size, will see what leadership that we have at the top in our country and understand that November is right around the corner and it’s a big moment for us as Americans. If we continue to talk about, ‘We want better, we want change,’ we have an opportunity to do that.
“But the game will go on without his eyes on it. I can sit here and speak for all of us that love the game of basketball: We could [not] care less.”