NBA superstar LeBron James said Monday that he believes President TrumpDonald TrumpUN meeting with US, France canceled over scheduling issue Trump sues NYT, Mary Trump over story on tax history McConnell, Shelby offer government funding bill without debt ceiling MORE has used sports to drive a wedge between Americans.
James praised the value of athletic competition bringing people together from different backgrounds during an interview with CNN anchor Don Lemon.
“You know, we are in a position right now in America, more importantly where this whole, this race thing has taken over,” James said. “One, because I believe our president is kind of trying to divide us.”
“Kind of?” Lemon interjected.
“Is,” James clarified. “No, I don’t want to say kind of.”
“And what I’ve noticed over the past few months is he’s kind of used sports to kind of divide us, and that’s something that I can’t relate to,” James added.
LeBron James (@KingJames) says Trump's trying to use sport to divide people, but he believes it brings people together. He sits down with @donlemon at the opening of his new elementary school for at-risk children in his hometown of Akron, Ohio. Watch 10pET https://t.co/koTK4RarqE pic.twitter.com/CQYsTz2Fzl— CNN (@CNN) July 30, 2018
Trump regularly criticizes NFL players who kneel during the national anthem to protest social injustice.
The president has called for those players to be fired, and suggested they don't belong in the country. NFL owners acquiesced to Trump's demands and passed a policy for the coming season requiring players to stand for the anthem or remain off the field.
James, who campaigned for 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonGOP political operatives indicted over illegal campaign contribution from Russian national in 2016 Clinton lawyer's indictment reveals 'bag of tricks' Attorney charged in Durham investigation pleads not guilty MORE, has been an outspoken critic of Trump. When the president disinvited the NBA champion Golden State Warriors from a White House visit in 2017, James called Trump a "bum."
James spoke with Lemon at the opening of a new elementary school that the NBA star funded in his hometown of Akron, Ohio, to cater to more than 200 at-risk kids. The school is a joint project between James’s foundation and the Akron Public Schools system.