SANDUSKY, OH (AP) — LeBron James swiped at President Trump on Tuesday, calling him the “so-called president” while calling for unity in light of the Charlottesville tragedy.
Speaking on stage to students, parents and families connected his to foundation at the end of a daylong event at Cedar Point Amusement Park, James said he wanted to spend a moment addressing the weekend’s violent protests, where a woman was killed.
“I know there’s a lot of tragic things happening in Charlottesville (Virginia),” James said. “I just want to speak on it right now. I have this platform and I’m somebody that has a voice of command and the only way for us to get better as a society and for us to get better as people is love. And that’s the only way we’re going to be able to conquer something as one. It’s not about the guy that’s the so-called president of the United States, or whatever the case.”
Earlier in the day, the NBA superstar blasted Trump on Twitter after the president appeared to equate the actions of white supremacists and those protesting them.
James has been outspoken on his political beliefs in the past, and he took advantage of his first public appearance since the NBA Finals, to call out Trump’s actions.
“It’s not about a teacher that you don’t feel like cares about what’s going on with you every day,” James continued. “It’s not about people that you just don’t feel like want to give the best energy and effort to you. It’s about us. It’s about us looking in the mirror. Kids all the way up to the adults. All of us looking in the mirror and saying, ‘What can we do better to help change?’ And if we can all do that and give 110 percent, then that’s all you can ask for.
“So, shout out to the innocent people in Charlottesville (Virginia) and shout out to everybody across the world that just want to be great and just want to love. Thank you, and I love you all.”
James was joined on stage by his three children, singers Usher and Jordin Sparks, who performed during the event, and Cavaliers teammate J.R. Smith.
James flew to New York earlier Tuesday to play in pickup games with Warriors star Kevin Durant and Carmelo Anthony of the New York Knicks.