CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - LeBron James already publicly endorsed Hillary Clinton and now Republican Presidential nominee Donald Trump just gave the NBA superstar another reason to disagree with him.
James shot down all explanations that Trump's 2005 comments on women were locker room talk.
"We don't disrespect women in no shape or fashion in our locker rooms," James said after Wednesday's practice at Cleveland Clinic Courts. "What is locker room talk to me? It's not what that guy (Donald Trump) said. That never comes up. I have a mother-in-law, a wife, a mom and a daughter and those conversations just don't go on in our locker room. What that guy (Donald Trump) was saying, that's not...I don't know what that is. That's trash talk."
In a 2005 recording obtained by The Washington Post and released last week, Trump was caught on a live microphone speaking to Billy Bush, who worked for Access Hollywood at the time, talking about making sexual advances on women. Trump can be heard detailing a failed sexual advance he made on a married woman and calling a female correspondent for the show, "hot as s---." Trump also details how he approaches women, saying, "I just kiss. I don't even wait."
Trump issued an immediate response saying: "This was locker room banter … I apologize if anyone was offended."
Domestic violence survivors, like Laura Cowan, agree with James.
"I'm telling you, when I hear things like that, I cringe," Cowan said.
She called Trump's comments sickening, and said the remarks only hurt people who were sexually abused.
"Survivors go through that, when they hear little crazy things like that, and it gives flashbacks to their abusers," Cowan said.
Cleveland Rape Crisis Center CEO Sondra Miller said they see an increase in calls whenever a high profile sexual assault case comes to light.
"It's disappointing to survivors, because it makes people feel a little hopeless. We're all working for a future without violence and without sexual violence," Miller said.
She hopes people use the incident to bring about change.
"I wish we could take the political part out of this conversation and talk about the real issue, which is that one in five women are raped in their lifetime, and we should not be tolerating that in our country," Miller said.
James isn't the only athlete speaking out about Trump's recent remarks. Cleveland Browns wide receiver Andrew Hawkins called it wrong. Cleveland Cavaliers forward Dahntay Jones said on Twitter that calling Trump's comments locker room banter suggests they're somehow acceptable, adding they are not.
James endorsed Hillary Clinton for president early this month. He revealed his decision to Business Insider, calling her a "champion for children and their futures."
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