LeBron James said Monday that he is increasingly convinced President Donald Trump is using sports as a way to raise political tensions in the country.

LeBron James Criticizes Donald Trump

“What I’ve noticed over the past few months, [is] he’s kinda used sports to kinda divide us, and that’s something that I can’t relate to,” the Lakers star told CNN’s Don Lemon. “I can’t sit back and say nothing.”

James lamented the president’s frequent criticisms of athletes like Colin Kaepernick and other NFL players who protested the national anthem to make statements about racial disparity. The former Cleveland Cavaliers star also mentioned Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors’ refusal to visit the White House after winning this year’s NBA championship.

The 33-year-old, three-time NBA champion went on to describe his experience with diversity in sports when he was growing up.


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“Sports was the first time I was ever around someone white,” James said. “I got an opportunity to see them and learn about them, and they got the opportunity to learn about me … And I was like, ‘Oh wow, this is all because of sports.'”

This week, James — a father of three who has done a lot of community outreach through his foundation — teamed up with the public school system in his hometown of Akron, Ohio to open a school for at-risk youth called “I Promise.”

“We want every kid that walks through this school to be inspired, to come … away with something, something where they can give back,” James stated about the project. “For kids, in general, all they want to know is that someone cares. And when they walk through that door, I hope they know that someone cares.”

James cited Martin Luther King Jr. and Muhammad Ali as two great leaders from history who overcame adversity and whom he hopes today’s children can learn to emulate.


Comedian Trevor Noah, host of The Daily Show, poked fun at James’ new venture by citing a key mistake The King’s Cavaliers teammate JR Smith made during the NBA Finals against the Warriors in June. Smith seemed to have thought the Cavs were ahead late in Game 1 when in fact the score was tied.

James also thanked former president and First Lady Barack Obama and Michelle Obama after the latter posted a tweet with the list of things “I Promise” pledges to help children with.

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