LeBron James spoke his mind at the Cleveland Cavaliers’ media day on Monday, covering topics including the widespread protests during Sunday’s NFL games, and his critiques of President Donald Trump.
Following is a transcript of the video.
LEBRON JAMES: I salute the NFL, the players, the coaches, the owners, the fans and anyone who had any association with the NFL yesterday was unbelievable. It was solidarity. There was no divide. Even from that guy who continues to try and divide us as people.
Like I said on social media a couple days ago, that kind of frustrated me and pissed me off is the fact that he’s now, he’s using the sports platform to try and divide us. Sports is so amazing. What sports can do for everyone. No matter the shape or size or race or ethnicity or religion or whatever. People find teams and players. People find colours because of sports. They just gravitate that and makes them so happy, and it brings people together.
We’re not going to let, I’m not going to let, while I have this platform, let one individual regardless of the power or impact he or she should have, ever use sports for a platform to divide us. Then you go to the other side, when you don’t talk about sports, and you divide us from that side as well.
The one thing that I can say is how can we personally throughout everything that guy is doing, no matter if you voted for him or not, you may have made a mistake, that’s OK. If you voted for him, that’s OK. I’ve done things to my kids, and then realised I shouldn’t have given my kids that many damn skittles. Maybe I shouldn’t have done that and she won’t go to sleep now.
Can we sit up here and say that I’m trying to make a difference. Can we sit up here and say that I can look myself in the mirror and say that I want the best for the American people. No matter the skin colour, race, how tall or athletic you are. Can we sit up here and say that we are trying to make a difference? Because we know this is the greatest country in the world. It’s the land of the free, but we still have problems just like everyone else.
When we have those problems, we have to find a way to come together and be as great as we can. Because the people run this country, not one individual. It’s damn sure not him.
As I got this platform and a way to inspire for my word to be bond, I will lend my voice, passion, money, resources to my youth, my inner city to let these kids know that there is hope. There’s greater walks of life. Not one individual, even if it’s the president of the United States or someone in your household, stop you from dreams becoming reality.
It’s just that simple.
REPORTER: Is there any regret that you got into a name calling situation with the president?
JAMES: No. Name calling? What did I say? Let me hear you say it.
REPORTER: You called him a bum.
JAMES: That’s not a name call. You a bum. Me and my friends call each other that all the time. I’m not his friend though. I don’t ever want to see that on a note. He’s not my friend.
That was the first thing that when I woke up and saw what he said about Stephen Curry.
It’s so funny because it’s like you invite me to your party. Matter of fact it’s not like you invited me, it’s like I’m not going to be able to make it. I’m not coming. And then he be like, hey LeBron guess what? You’re not invited. I wasn’t coming anyways.
So that was funny to me when I woke up and saw that. My first response was you a bum.
You don’t understand the magnitude. He doesn’t understand the power that he has for being the leader of this beautiful country. He doesn’t understand how many kids, no matter the race, look up t the president for the United States for guidance, leadership, for words of encouragement. He doesn’t understand that.
That’s what makes me more sick than anything, that we have someone who’s in the number one position in the world. You guys agree? The president of the United States is the most powerful position in the world. I don’t know of another one. If you find one let me know.
We’re at a time when where most powerful position in the world has an opportunity to bring us closer together as a people and inspire the youth and put the youth at ease saying that it’s OK to walk down the street and not be judged by the colour of my skin or race.He has no recollection of that. He doesn’t even care. Maybe he does. But he doesn’t care. Do I just takeaway you bum off my, no. Because if I did that then I would have deleted my tweet.”
He has no recollection of that. He doesn’t even care. Maybe he does. But he doesn’t care. Do I just take away you bum off my, no. Because if I did that then I would have deleted my tweet.
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.