Access exclusive podcasts, interviews and analysis with a monthly or annual membership

Become A Member
Dublin: 14°C Saturday 31 October 2020

'I couldn't let that happen': LeBron James says Trump is using sport to divide America

President Donald Trump is using sport to divide the people of the United States, according to LA Lakers superstar LeBron James.

LEBRON JAMES BELIEVES U.S. president Donald Trump is using sport as a way to divide America.

James has never shied away from speaking his mind, especially when it comes to Trump, whom he accused of turning people in the States against each other.

During his time in office, Trump has been immersed in numerous sports-related issues, most notably the ongoing national anthem protests in the NFL.

Trump has been adamant that players should be forced to stand during the anthem or be subject to suspension, which triggered the passing of a new policy that has since been challenged by the NFLPA.

Trump also withdrew White House invitations to the Philadelphia Eagles and Golden State Warriors following their championship-winning seasons after numerous players chose not to be involved in the traditional visit.

James, who opened his I Promise School in his hometown of Akron, Ohio, on Monday, credited sports with introducing him to new people and explained how the environment helped shape the way he interacted with those from different backgrounds.

“We are in a position right now in America where this race thing has taken over,” James told CNN.

“One – because I believe our president is kind of trying to divide us. He is — I don’t want to say ‘kinda’. He’s dividing us.

“And what I’ve noticed over the last few months [is] he’s kind of used sports to divide us, and that’s something that I can’t relate to because I know that sport is the first time that I was ever around someone white!

“I got an opportunity to see them and learn about them, and they got the opportunity to learn about me, and we become very good friends. And I was like, ‘Oh wow, this is all because of sports.’

“Sports has never been something that divides people. It’s always been something that brings people together.”

Be part
of the team

Access exclusive podcasts, interviews and analysis with a monthly or annual membership.

Become a Member

In the same CNN piece interviewer Don Lemon asked James if he would ever consider entering politics, and sensing the basketball star’s hesitancy, jokingly asked him again under the proviso that, ‘If you don’t run, Trump’s going to win.’

“Well, in that case, I may (run),” James replied. “I believe there’s someone else out there. I hope.”

Asked what he’d say to Trump if they ever came face to face, James responded: “I would never sit across from him.”

In a separate interview with ESPN, James was asked by Rachel Nichols why he felt it was important for him to use his voice to stand up for kids, even if it meant as far as criticising the U.S. president.

“Well, for me, I have a voice,” James replied.

“I have a platform, and I have so many kids — and not only kids but also adults that look for guidance and look for someone to lead them at a time when they feel like their voice isn’t powerful. And when you see something that’s unjust and you see something that’s wrong and you see something that’s trying to divide us as a race or as a country, then I feel like my voice can be heard and speak volumes.

“Especially coming from the point of view of sports. I live in sports. Without sports, we all wouldn’t be here. I wouldn’t be talking to you, Rach. You wouldn’t be interviewing me.

You know, sports – it stops race. Every race comes together to fight for one common goal, and that’s to win and have fun and to have camaraderie and things like that. And for someone or a body or parties to try to divide us by using our platform of sport — sport has given me everything I could ever ask for — I couldn’t let that happen.
By using my voice and letting the youth know — and the people that need the guidance know — that I care for them, and that I’ll be their voice, it’s [a] passionate [thing] for me because, like I said, sports is just the ultimate to bring people together. That’s what I’m here for.

- Omni

The42 is on Instagram! Tap the button below on your phone to follow us!

LeBron James opens a new public school for at-risk kids in his hometown of Akron, Ohio

About the author:

The42 Team

Read next:


This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
write a comment

    Leave a commentcancel