LeBron laughs off Trump’s criticism
(Agence France-Presse) - August 8, 2020 - 12:00am

WASHINGTON – Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James hit back at Donald Trump on Wednesday after the US President branded NBA stars who kneel during the national anthem “disgraceful.”

The two-time Olympic gold medalist and four-time NBA Most Valuable Player rebuked Trump’s comments in the aftermath of a 105-86 loss to Oklahoma City in the Orlando bubble as the league restarts following a four-month COVID-19 shutdown.

James smiled when asked about Trump’s comments that he did more for the black community than any president except maybe Abraham Lincoln, who freed slaves in the 19th Century.

“Trying to make me laugh right now? I appreciate that,” James said.

Trump told Fox News he turns away when he sees players kneel during the anthem, although players have said the move is to protest police brutality and social injustice, and is not an insult to the flag, military or nation.

“I think it’s disgraceful,” Trump said. “We work with (the NBA). We work very hard trying to get them open. I was pushing them to get open. And then I see everyone kneeling during the anthem. It’s not acceptable to me.

“When I see them kneeling, I just turn off the game. I have no interest in the game. When I see people kneeling during the playing and disrespecting our flag and disrespecting our national anthem, what I do, personally, is turn off the game.”

Trump need not hurry to turn on the NBA again, James said.

“I really don’t think the basketball community are sad about losing his viewership, him viewing the game,” James said.

“The game will go on without his eyes on it. I can sit here and speak for all of us who love the game of basketball and we could care less.”

James noted global support and respect for the NBA.

LEBRON JAMES
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