In a year full of bold political moves by athletes, LeBron James and several of his Cleveland Cavaliers teammates are refusing to stay at Trump Soho in New York City. The hotel, though not owned by President-elect Donald Trump, is branded with his name and caused a few of the Cavs to seek other accommodations as they prepare to take on the New York Knicks Wednesday, Dec. 7.
According to Cleaveland.com, Cavs’ general manager David Griffin said arrangements are being made for what could include up to seven of the 14 traveling teammates to stay at another unnamed hotel. Trump SoHo had been booked ahead of the 2016 presidential election and Griffin noted it is the only NBA-quality hotel that could guarantee rooms for the team’s family and friends in case the Cavs make the postseason.
James’ endorsement of former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton explains his unwillingness to stay at the hotel. In October, Atlanta Black Star reported the power forward believed Clinton was the only candidate who understood the struggles of oppressed Americans.
In the wake of the Nov. 8 election results, many Cavaliers players have expressed their disappointment. On Instagram, shooting guard J.R. Smith questioned how he would explain the outcome to his young daughter. Echoing ESPN analyst Jalen Rose’s proclamation that NBA teams will stop visiting the White House, reserve forward Richard Jefferson made the same statement on Snapchat after the Cavs met with Obama to celebrate their championship in November. While speaking to Complex last week, Iman Shumpert declared he would not visit the White House under the Trump administration.
“I can’t get caught up in the racial, sexist bull—- he’s got going on,” Shumpert said.” That’s his personal thing.”
The Cavs join at least three other NBA teams that won’t stay in the Chicago and Manhattan hotels bearing Trump’s name, ESPN reported. They include the Dallas Mavericks, Milwaukee Bucks and Memphis Grizzlies. The Illinois-based hotel, in contrast to the one in New York City, is owned and operated by Trump’s company.