In the aftermath of Donald Trump’s recent remarks on Fox & Friends, where he claimed that he wants to “turn off the game” when he sees professional athletes taking a knee during the national anthem, Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James aired his thoughts on the issue, telling reporters that the NBA likely won’t miss him as a viewer.
“I really don’t think the basketball community are sad about losing his viewership, him viewing the game,” James said after Wednesday night’s 105-86 loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder, as quoted by ESPN.
Initially, James expressed reluctance to expound on the topic, noting that he doesn’t want to get into another exchange of words with Trump. However, he talked extensively about the upcoming presidential election in November and said that he hopes people could respect the things NBA players “bring to the game” away from the court.
“I hope everyone, no matter the race, no matter the color, no matter the size, will see what leadership that we have at the top in our country and understand that November is right around the corner and it’s a big moment for us as Americans.”
James then revisited the subject of Trump’s remarks about athletes who kneel during the national anthem, saying that the NBA will continue as it is with or without the president’s support. He concluded by saying that the league’s players and its fans alike “could [not] care less” if Trump stops watching.
According to ESPN, James’ comments were in line with the ones made earlier on Wednesday by Los Angeles Clippers head coach Doc Rivers. The outlet quoted Rivers as saying that he doesn’t really care about the league losing “one guy” as a fan. He also appeared to reference the president’s stance against mail-in voting, emphasizing the fact that he was wearing a hat with the word “Vote” on it and saying that it’s “disgraceful” Trump seemingly wants to prevent people from casting their votes in November.
As previously reported by The Inquisitr, James and Trump have a well-documented history of taking aim at each other through their public comments. In August 2018, the president tweeted that CNN host Don Lemon, whom he called the “dumbest man” on television, made James look “smart” when he interviewed him. One month later, the four-time MVP fired back, remarking that he feels bothered that the man with the “most powerful job in the world” has enough free time to call him out on social media.