Cleveland Cavaliers star LeBron James is the latest in a string of high-profile celebrities to publicly endorse Hillary Clinton for president, asserting that the former Secretary of State is the only candidate who truly understands the plight of disadvantaged Americans.
James penned an emotionally charged declaration supporting Clinton and her efforts Sunday, which is expected to be published in the Akron Business Journal Monday. In it, the NBA Finals’ most valuable player spoke about his less-than-perfect childhood growing up in a single-parent home in the industrial city of Akron, Ohio.
He discussed the hard financial times he and his mother faced as he struggled to make it out of a place where Black children like himself didn’t have much hope.
“I don’t want to see any of them fall through the cracks,” said James, who established a namesake foundation to benefit poor children in his hometown. “That easily could have happened to me. Opportunities, a support system, and a safety net for kids in poverty or kids in single-parent households shouldn’t be limited to those lucky enough to be blessed with athletic talent.”
“When I look at this year’s presidential race, it’s clear which candidate believes the same thing,” he continued. “Only one person running truly understands the struggles of an Akron child born into poverty. And when I think about the kinds of policies and ideas the kids in my foundation need from our government, the choice is clear. That candidate is Hillary Clinton.”
James went on to highlight Clinton’s long-time advocacy for children’s rights, including her efforts to improve public schools, increase access to health care and aid children’s hospitals. He also said that the former first lady was the correct candidate to “build on the legacy of my good friend, President Barack Obama,” adding that Clinton has “always been a champion for children and their futures.”
“She wants to make sure kids have access to a good education, no matter what zip code they live in,” James wrote. “She’ll rebuild schools that are falling apart and put more money into computer science. She’ll make sure teachers are paid what they deserve so they can give everything to their students.”
The basketball star briefly addressed the issue of gun violence in predominately Black communities, proposing increased efforts to rebuild neighborhoods plagued by such violence and programs aimed at keeping at-risk youth off the street. Earlier this year at the ESPYs, James took the stage alongside fellow NBA players Carmelo Anthony, Dwyane Wade and others to call for more urgency in addressing the growing issue.
The Cleveland Cavalier seemingly took a jab at Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, who has been known for his divisive rhetoric, by stating that the American people are in need of a president who will unify the country — not tear it apart.
“Policies and ideas that divide us more are not the solution,” he said. “We must all stand together — no matter where we are from or the color of our skin. And Hillary is running on the message of hope and unity that we need.”
“There’s still a lot of work to be done in Akron, Northeast Ohio, and all across our great country,” James concluded. “We need a president who understands our community and will build on the legacy of President Obama. So let’s register to vote, show up to the polls, and vote for Hillary Clinton.”
According to The Guardian, Clinton is expected to visit Akron on Monday where she will attend a voter registration drive at Goodyear Hall.