LeBron James praises Beto O'Rourke's comments on NFL player protests
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NBA superstar LeBron James on Thursday praised Rep. Beto O’Rourke’s (D-Texas) defense of NFL players who kneel during the national anthem.

“A Must Watch!!! Salute @BetoORourke for the candid thoughtful words!” James tweeted in response to a video showing O’Rourke defending NFL players who protest during the national anthem.



The video, which has gone viral in recent days, shows O’Rourke saying he can “think of nothing more American” than the protests. He was responding to a question at a town hall about whether he found the protests disrespectful.


O’Rourke, who is running for Senate, notes in the video that the protests are meant to bring attention to African-Americans who are "being killed at a frightening level right now, including by members of law enforcement without accountability and without justice."

The video gained popularity days after Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzSinger Leon Bridges to join Willie Nelson in performing at O’Rourke rally Election Countdown: Trump confident about midterms in Hill.TV interview | Kavanaugh controversy tests candidates | Sanders, Warren ponder if both can run | Super PACs spending big | Two states open general election voting Friday | Latest Senate polls Poll: Beto O'Rourke leads Cruz by 2 points in Texas Senate race MORE (R-Texas), O’Rourke’s opponent, brought attention to the comments by attacking O’Rourke for making them.

“When Beto O’Rourke says he can’t think of anything more American (than players taking a knee), well I got to tell you, I can,” Cruz said on Saturday during a campaign stop, according to The Caller Times. Cruz then reportedly noted that service members regularly salute the flag when the anthem is played.

President TrumpDonald John TrumpLondon terror suspect’s children told authorities he complained about Trump: inquiry The Memo: Tide turns on Kavanaugh Trump to nominate retiring lawmaker as head of trade agency MORE has criticized the NFL protests, saying recently that players who kneel should be suspended without pay.

James is a frequent critic of Trump. In an interview last month with CNN's Don Lemon, he said he believed Trump has used sports to divide Americans. Trump responded by disparaging James’s intelligence, writing on Twitter that Lemon “made Lebron look smart, which isn’t easy to do.”