NBA star LeBron James had some strong words for President Donald Trump at a recent press conference — don’t expect him or his teammates from the Cleveland Cavaliers to visit the White House if they win the championship.
And Trump shouldn’t expect James’ opponents, the Golden State Warriors, to attend, either.
James said he wasn’t surprised when he heard about the Philadelphia Eagles receiving a disinvitation from the president earlier this week.
“That's typical of him,” James said.
The NFL champs had been scheduled to be received at the White House this week, but Trump said he told them not to come because of their stance of the national anthem debate. The players “disagree with their President because he insists that they proudly stand for the National Anthem, hand on heart, in honor of the great men and women of our military and the people of our country,” Trump said in a statement.
That statement from the president was a lie, however. While some players didn’t want to attend the event, no player during the regular season from the Eagles ever kneeled during the playing of the anthem, which is a symbolic and silent protest against racial disparities in policing that took place among many teams across the league last year.
King James had more to say about the issue, elaborating specifically on the attitudes of players in the NBA.
“I know no matter who wins this series, no one wants an invite anyway,” he said. “It won’t be Golden State or Cleveland going” to the White House to celebrate winning the championship.
LeBron James addresses controversy over Pres. Trump uninviting the Philadelphia Eagles to the White House.— ABC News (@ABC) June 5, 2018
“I know no matter who wins this series, no one wants the invite anyway. It won’t be Golden State or Cleveland going.” https://t.co/trpGVAIIKj pic.twitter.com/qUSiHAB3yd
And who can blame them? Trump’s racism has been on full display for much of the past 500-plus days he’s been in office, and it was apparent to anyone observing him before he became president as well. His disparaging remarks to NFL players last fall, demanding owners fire any “son of a b****” who expressed their First Amendment freedoms, is also demonstrative of his racism as it applies to black athletes.
Kudos should be given to James and other NBA athletes for standing in solidarity with their NFL counterparts. No championship athlete should afford Trump the opportunity to meet with them, given his past denunciations against other players with opposing political viewpoints. More athletes in other sports should demand the president apologize and make amends for his previous bigoted commentary before they agree to meet with him, too.
Banner/Thumbnail Credits: Bob Donnan/Reuters