Only a few days after saying he didn’t want to go “back and forth” with Donald Trump, LeBron James fired the first salvo in what could likely become a tit-for-tat exchange between the president and the NBA star.
In the photo, he also links to More Than A Vote, the voter initiative led by James. The organization is backed by several black athletes, artists, and celebrities, and is meant to get more people to the polls for early voting. They launched a campaign this week to fight against false information online.
“We believe that Black people, our community, we’ve been pushed away from our civic duty,” James said according to Newsweek. “We’ve been fed misinformation for many years.
“And I’m in a position where I can educate people and, through More Than a Vote, educate people on how important this movement is, and how important their civic duty is. Not only to empower themselves, but to give back to their community as well.
“It’s something that we’re very passionate about—that I’m very passionate about. I’m happy and honored that I can have these athletes and these influencers and the people that want to be engaged with me as well.”
LeBron James, Donald Trump Have Argued Before
So far, President Trump has yet to respond to LeBron James’ clown photo, but it won’t be a surprise if he does soon. He’s had a lot to say about the four-time NBA champion in the past.
Most recently, Trump called James “a hater” and “nasty” during an interview on “The Rush Limbaugh Show” earlier this month. He attacked James for his work with Black Lives Matter and the NBA’s falling ratings.
In late August, Trump said the NBA protests for racial equality and justice were turning the league into a “political organization,” according to The Hollywood Reporter. “People are a little tired of the NBA, frankly,” he said.
Trump’s comments didn’t affect James.
“I really don’t think the basketball community is sad about losing his viewership,” James said. “The game will go on without his eyes on it.”
James called Trump a “bum” in 2017 after the president rescinded an offer to the then NBA champs Golden State Warriors to visit the White House, CBS Sports reported. The team’s point guard Steph Curry had already said he didn’t plan on going.
Trump has called James a spokesperson for the Democratic Party. And while James has espoused liberal views and backed Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election, he hasn’t endorsed Biden.
James said he’s more focused on the issues of this election and no particular candidate. Though, it seems quite unlikely he’ll vote for Trump.
“It’s just what needed to be done at this point in time,” he told the New York Times. “We’ve been talking about voter suppression, we’ve been talking about police brutality, systemic racism. We’ve had so many things going on, and voter suppression in our communities happens to be at the forefront. So that’s something we wanted to educate our people on.”