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LeBron James Claims That The President Is Trying To Divide Us

LeBron James, one of the leading NBA stars and surely a future Hall of Famer is disgusted by President Trump’s recent comments. He considers them divisive, and supports the kneeling protests in the NFL. “This people run the country,” James said, and continued: "Sport is so amazing, what it can do for everyone. No matter the shape, size, weight, ethnicity, religion or whatever - people find teams, players and colors because of sport. It brings people together like none other. I'm not going to let one individual, no matter their power, ever use sport as a platform to divide us.”

James has been openly supportive of Hillary Clinton’s campaign and has bashed Trump every time he can. The kneeling protest in the NFL started with Colin Kaepernick last year, when he took the knee during the national anthem as a way of protest against the treatment of African-Americans. Since then, hundreds of athletes and Hollywood stars have shown their support by kneeling.

Speaking at a recent rally in Alabama, Trump described the kneeling players as “sons of bitches” and suggested they be fired from their teams. However, this only drew even more support for the protesters. On Sunday, 20 players and staff from the Jacksonville Jaguars and Baltimore Ravens locked their arms before the match, with all of the matches in the NFL on the weekend having a similar response. The kneeling protest has become massive in recent weeks, and Trump’s comments have been seen as divisive by the biggest stars in sports. On Monday, Dallas Cowboys’ owner Jerry Jones took the knee himself, which shows that the protest runs even deeper than just the players.

Roger Goodell, the NFL commish, praised the players and showed support for the movement. "The president’s comments demonstrate an unfortunate lack of respect for the NFL, our great game and a failure to understand the overwhelming force for good our clubs and players represent in our communities," Goodell stated. According to Trump, his comments have nothing to do with race, and that they are about our country and flag.

James’ response
James, a 3-time NBA champion and one of the most dominant players in the NBA, has often criticized Trump, even calling him a “bum” in a tweet from a few days ago. LeBron was responding to Trump’s tweet about not inviting the current NBA champions Golden State Warriors in the White House, which drew many athletes to comment on the situation.

"When we have those problems, we can't forget how great we can be as a people, because the people run this country. I will lend my voice, my passion and my money to the youth, to my inner city and those outside my inner city," James said. "I want to let these kids know there is hope and not one individual, no matter if it's the president of the United States or someone in your household, that can stop your dreams from becoming a reality."

How have other athletes reacted?
Bruce Maxwell, the Oakland Athletics catcher, knelt before one of his team’s recent games and said that he does it for the people who have no voice. Maxwell’s father is in the military, but he has openly criticized Trump. The popular singer Rico Lavelle knelt after performing the national anthem in Detroit this weekend.

However, others have not been so supportive of the protests. The Pittsburgh Penguins have accepted the President’s invitation to the White House, while some owners of NASCAR teams have threatened to fire those who protest.

According to Warner Todd Hudson, an American writer, the public opinion is split. "What he [Trump] said was indelicate, certainly, but we all know that that's Trump being Trump. We have the conservative side, Republicans who think all the protests are an anti-American protest, whereas people on the left feel it is just a protest against endemic racism in the country. It's definitely been divisive. There are two camps and almost no-one in between," Hudson said.

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