James makes millions of dollars each year off his endorsements, Nike being his biggest endorser. Nike, along with other endorsers, felt that announcing his backing of the President would be a negative reflection to the deals that he has in place.
“I’ve been second guessed,” James said after Monday’s 124-99 victory over the Phoenix Suns on the eve of election. “They’re saying it’s bad for the brand. If I feel like I want to support someone, then go for it.”
James signed a seven-year, $93 million contract with Nike in May 2003. In March 2010 the brand signed him to an extension for an undisclosed amount.
James has made it known that he is not afraid to take a stand as an athlete.
“I just think it’s about knowledge if you know what’s going on,” James said. “I’ve always said I feel like it’s important for me to do it because that’s just who I am. I got out there and I learned a lot about it in ’08 and I learned a lot about it now.”
In 2008, the three-time NBA MVP said he researched Obama before voting for him, but adds he has done the same this time around.
Heat president Pat Riley and James are on two different sides of the aisle when dealing with politics. Riley has donated $2,500 to Republican challenger Mitt Romney.
James was asked if he thought about throwing an event such as Bruce Springsteen did to rally support for Obama. The NBA champion said that his busy schedule during the summer, preseason and now regular season have prohibited him from being able to organize an event.
“It’s kind of late now, but I’ve been able to send out a few tweets and support (Obama),” he said. “But I’m supporting him and I think his camp knows that and everybody that knows me knows that.”
James is glad that he did not let endorsers influence his decision to speak out, but issued a challenge to everyone who can vote and hasn’t voted.
“I think it’s a very important election for everyone,” James said. “Everyone, they talk about having a right to vote. Just don’t talk about it, actually go out and do it. And let your voice be heard, and I’m happy to be in the position I am.”