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The Los Angeles Lakers superstar was asked about Trump’s comments Wednesday night after a loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder. James chose his words carefully.
“Are you trying to make me laugh?” he began when asked the question by a reporter. “I really don’t think the basketball community is sad about losing his viewership.”
James was somewhat hesitant to respond further, noting, “I already know where this could lead to tomorrow for me. The game will go on without his eyes on it.”
Since the season restarted last month, numerous players and coaches have been taking a knee in protest of racial inequality and to honor the Black men and women unjustly killed by police. Trump, as he has been saying for years to fire up his base, again railed against the kneeling in a recent interview.
James told reporters he is content knowing the president is not watching.
“I think our game is in a beautiful position, and we have fans all over the world. And our fans love not only 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 in acknowledging what’s right and what’s wrong.”
James said he hoped everyone, “no matter the race, no matter the color,” sees Trump’s brand of leadership for what it is. “November is right around the corner and it is a big moment for us as Americans.”
LeBron James on Donald Trump saying he won’t watch any more NBA games because people have kneeled to protest systemic racism during the national anthem: “I really don’t think the basketball community are sad about losing his viewership.” pic.twitter.com/l9sP7LiFsi
— Mark Medina (@MarkG_Medina) August 6, 2020
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