LeBron James says he 'couldn't care less' if Trump refused to watch NBA, urges Americans to vote for change
LeBron James has made it clear that he "couldn't care less" whether President Donald Trump shuns the National Basketball Association (NBA) after the Republican leader bemoaned how the league had become a relentless social justice spectacle. The President voiced his displeasure during a Wednesday appearance on Fox & Friends, noting how the league's embrace of anthem protests and Black Lives Matter activism was "unacceptable" to him, according to reports.
“I think it’s disgraceful. We worked with the NBA, we worked with them very hard trying to get them open. I was pushing to get them open, and then I see everybody kneeling during the anthem. It’s not acceptable to me," Breitbart quoted Trump as saying. The POTUS also reiterated his claim that no other president, with the exception of Abraham Lincoln, had done as much as he has for the Black community.
"Are you trying to make me laugh right now?" Los Angeles Lakers star James told reporters Wednesday when he learned of Trump's remarks. "I really don't think the basketball community [is] sad about losing his viewership." James said he didn't want to delve into his thoughts on the president, but encouraged viewers to vote for "change" this November.
"I hope everyone, no matter the race, no matter the color, no matter their sides, see what leadership that we have at the top of our country and understand that November is right around the corner, and it's a big moment for us as Americans," he said. "If we continue to talk about what we want better, we want change, we have an opportunity to do that. But the game will go on without his eyes on it. I can sit here and speak for all of us that love the game of basketball. We [couldn't] care less."
The 6′ 9″ 250lb athlete may not care about losing Trump's viewership, but the NBA's lackluster ratings upon resuming their season after nearly five months could be a cause for concern. "Despite long lay-off from sports something that should have heightened interest, the NBA averaged only 2.75 million viewers," reported Breitbart. "Moreover, ratings for the league dropped off considerably after opening night."
In March, Trump attacked James over his appearance on CNN, suggesting that the star player was "dumb." "Lebron James was just interviewed by the dumbest man on television, Don Lemon. He made Lebron look smart, which isn't easy to do," Trump tweeted, after watching an interview between James and CNN host Don Lemon.
Trump ended his tweet with: "I like Mike!" in an apparent reference to the ongoing debate about who is the greatest NBA player of all times, LeBron James or Michael Jordan.
Lebron James was just interviewed by the dumbest man on television, Don Lemon. He made Lebron look smart, which isn’t easy to do. I like Mike!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 4, 2018
James, during the CNN interview, had discussed various topics, including politics, and accused Trump of enabling racists and using sports to divide the country.
"I can't sit back and say nothing," James said during the interview.
Twitterati, at the time, jumped to James' defense shortly after the president's attack and pointed out how the sports legend had recently opened a school for at-risk children in his hometown of Akron, in Ohio.