Washington: NBA superstar LeBron James has said that President Donald Trump is using athletics and athletes to split up the country.
“What I’ve noticed over the past few months… He’s kinda used sports to kinda divide us, and that’s something that I can’t relate to,” the basketball star told CNN on Monday evening.
Referencing San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, whose kneeling protests during the pre-game national anthem launched an NFL movement, and more recently, Stephen Curry, who honoured his promise of skipping a visit to the White House, James bemoaned a myriad of instances in which the President has twisted peaceful displays of dissent into an indictment of a decaying American value system.
“I can’t sit back and say nothing,” said James.
“Sports was the first time 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 I was like, ‘Oh wow, this is all because of sports’.”
Asked on what he would say to Trump if he was positioned before him, James said: “I would never sit across from him.”
James, who campaigned for 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, has been an outspoken critic of Trump, reports The Hill magazine.
When the President disinvited the NBA champion Golden State Warriors from a White House visit in 2017, James called Trump a “bum”.
He has since said Trump “doesn’t give a f—” about the American people, and that the President has enabled racism.