CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - LeBron James believes President Donald Trump is using sports and athletes to cause strife in the United States.
James made the comments in a sit-down interview after the grand opening of his public elementary school in Akron on Monday.
"He's dividing us," James said in reference to the president. "And what I noticed over the last few months, that he's kind of used sport to kind of divide us and that's something that I can't relate to because I know that sport was the first time that I was around someone white, you know, and I got an opportunity to see them and learn about them and they got an opportunity to learn about me. We became very good friends and I was like oh wow, this is all because of sports. And sports has never been something that divides people. It's always been something that brings someone together."
The former Cleveland Cavalier referenced the national anthem debate and said President Trump tried to use that instance to pit athletes, team owners, and fans against each other.
"What's up with that is all wrong. And it's not up, it's down. And you know for him to, like I say use sports to kind of divide us, I can't sit back and not say nothing," James said. "I believe he uses anything that's popular to try to negate people from thinking about the positive things that they could actually be doing and try to just to get our minds to not be as shocked as possible right then, just you know either from kneeling, from football players kneeling.
The 33-year-old departed from Cleveland for Los Angeles during the 2018 NBA offseason with his wife and three children in tow, but his legacy still runs strong in Northeast Ohio.
The I Promise School will host over 200 local at-risk elementary school students.
James is continuing to show that he is "more than an athlete" and he is capable of doing more than just playing basketball.