LeBron James spoke in candid terms to the Washington Post on Thursday about his reaction to the election of Donald Trump as President of the United States.
The Cavaliers star, who had publicly endorsed Hillary Clinton in an editorial on Business Insider, said he and his wife stayed up until 4 a.m. watching the results come in, and did not know whether he would visit the Trump White House should he win an NBA Championship in the future.
“It was difficult,” James said of Tuesday night. “It was difficult watching it. Me and my wife didn’t go to bed until 4 o’clock in the morning. It was very difficult seeing what happened not only in our state, but in our country. Like I said, it is what it is. That’s in the past. We need to live in the present and make our future better.”
Regarding a potential visit to the White House, James added: “I don’t know. That’s something that we’ll cross. We’ll have to cross that road if we get there. We’ll see. I would hope to have to cross that road. That doesn’t mean I wouldn’t want another championship.”
James is far from the first NBA star to speak out about Trump’s victory in the days since the election. ESPN analyst Jalen Rose speculated that many professional athletes would choose not to visit Trump’s White House, and Detroit Pistons head coach Stan Van Gundy slammed Trump’s “brazenly” racist and misogynistic demeanour.
James, though, was perhaps the most explicitly pro-Clinton athlete during the election. Along with his op/ed, he appeared at a rally in his home state of Ohio with Clinton and Cavs teammate JR Smith. Trump, of course, went on to win Ohio’s 18 electoral votes 52% to 44% for Clinton.
James said he thinks the country must continue to work together to help move forward, even with Trump at the helm.
“He’s our president,” James told the Washington Post. “No matter if you agree with it or disagree with it, he’s the guy, and we all have to figure a way to make America as great as it can be. We all have to do our part. Our nation has never been built on one guy, anyways. It’s been built on multiple guys, multiple people in power, multiple people having a dream and making it become a reality by giving back to the community, by giving back to the youth, doing so many great things.”