LeBron James opens up about Donald Trump feud, importance of voting
LeBron James is perhaps the most socially and politically outspoken athlete of this or any other era, but by being so has led to him being a controversial figure outside the world of professional sports.
The Los Angeles Lakers superstar’s brand of activism — including his long-stated opposition to the Donald Trump presidency — has made him the target of the President’s supporters in the media and elsewhere.
James recently participated in a wide-ranging interview with Astead W. Herndon of The New York Times. In it, the Lakers star addressed myriad topics, including his longstanding criticism of Trump and the importance of voting, especially in the upcoming presidential election.
Regarding Trump, James said he won’t waste his time engaging with a man who has been a polarizing presence in the world of sports throughout his presidency.
“I don’t go back and forth with anybody. And I damn sure won’t go back and forth with that guy,” James said. “But we want better, we want change in our community. We always talk about, ‘We want change,’ and now we have the opportunity to do that.”
James has consistently been on the forefront of seeking ways to enact such change, including how he spearheaded the launch of More Than A Vote, which was formed by the Lakers superstar and several other high-profile Black athletes earlier this year.
“I define success by our people going out and voting,” James said.
“You know, there’s so many stats out there, you can see it every time. Who didn’t vote? What counties didn’t vote? What communities didn’t vote? And a lot of that has had to do with our Black people. So, hopefully, we can get them out and educated and let them understand how important this moment is.”
James pledged to campaign for the Joe Biden-Kamala Harris ticket in August. Then last month, he and other NBA stars reacted to the contentious presidential debate between Biden and Trump by urging fans to vote in the upcoming election. He also is partnering with former First Lady Michelle Obama on a voting initiative.
James has also pledged that player activism surrounding issues including systemic racism, social inequality and police misconduct that played a prominent role during the NBA’s restart at Walt Disney World will continue with the bubble now closed down.
In other words, James’ commitment to fostering social change and using his platform to do so won’t be inhibited by critics. In fact, it likely only inspires him to work even harder.