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‘The Game Will Go On’: LeBron James Responds to Trump Saying That He’s Disgusted By NBA Players Kneeling for the National Anthem

LeBron James recently said neither he nor other NBA players will be shedding any tears over Donald Trump saying that he‘s stopped watching NBA games because players have been kneeling for the national anthem. The kneeling, which is to protest systemic racism and police brutality, began on July 30 after the league resumed play in Orlando following the shutdown in March because of the spread of the coronavirus.

Trump spoke about NBA players Wednesday, Aug. 5, on Fox News and called their protests “disgraceful.”

LeBron James responded to Donald Trump after Trump criticized NBA players for kneeling during the national anthem. (Photos: Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images Sport via Getty Images, Scott Olson/Getty Images News via Getty Images)

“We work with [the NBA],” said Trump. “We work very hard trying to get them open. I was pushing them to get open and then I see everyone kneeling during the anthem. It’s not acceptable to me.”

He continued. “When I see them kneeling, I just turn off the game. I have no interest in the game. When I see people kneeling during the playing and disrespecting our flag and disrespecting our national anthem, what I do, personally, is turn off the game.”

Trump also claimed that the NBA’s ratings “are way down,” although The Hollywood Reporter recently reported that play resumed to numbers that were well above average compared to when the season was suspended, although ratings have dropped some since then.

Additionally, Trump said that he’s done more for Black people than any other president aside from maybe Abraham Lincoln. James was asked about that statement on Wednesday, after his Los Angeles Lakers lost to the Oklahoma City Thunder 105-86 at the league’s central Florida bubble location in Orlando’s Disney World.

“Trying to make me laugh right now? I appreciate that,” James told reporters. “I really don’t think the basketball community are sad about losing his viewership.”

The Lakers star then said, “I think our game is in a beautiful position and we have fans all over the world and our fans not only love the way we play the game, we try to give it back to them with our commitment to the game, but also respect what else we try to bring to the game, and acknowledging what’s right and what’s wrong … The game will go on without his eyes on it. I can sit here and speak for all of us that love the game of basketball, we [couldn’t] care less.”

James closed his remarks about Trump by encouraging people to vote in November and called the next presidential election “a big moment for us as Americans.”

The NBA has shown strong support for the Black Lives Matter movement since George Floyd’s death in May.

Once the league resumed last month, NBA players have been wearing Black Lives Matter shirts, the words “Black Lives Matter” are now being displayed on the court, and many players are wearing social justice messages like “Justice” and “Education Reform” on the back of their jerseys.

For his part, James has been supporting the protests for racial justice on social media, and in June it was announced that he, along with other Black athletes and entertainers launched More Than A Vote.

The organization says on its website that it will work on “Combating systemic, racist voter suppression by educating, energizing, and protecting our community in 2020.”

On Wednesday, Aug. 5, the NBA Board of Governors said that it would be donating $300 million toward a newly formed foundation that will create “economic empowerment in Black communities.” The foundation will be run in partnership with the National Basketball Players Association.

All 30 NBA teams will give $1 million to the foundation every year over the next decade.

“The NBA Foundation will seek to increase access and support for high school, college-aged and career-ready Black men and women, and assist national and local organizations that provide skills training, mentorship, coaching and pipeline development in NBA markets and communities across the United States and Canada,” it says in a press release.

What people are saying

20 thoughts on “‘The Game Will Go On’: LeBron James Responds to Trump Saying That He’s Disgusted By NBA Players Kneeling for the National Anthem

  1. Craig Weinschenk says:

    As a lifetime nba fan I also will not be watching. I watch sports for not being political. I’m not interested in most athletes opinion. They are biased and very misinformed. Good luck

  2. vickie peck says:

    It isn’t just president Trump who is disgusted. I and everyone I know are boycotting any sport where the players kneel and it’s started. Look at how low the viewers are. If they disrespect the flag and anthem we will disrespect them.

  3. Patricia says:

    Thank God LeBron! Loved you for years I live in Canton OH part of 330 forever and I have a son who has 2 Purple Hearts for his service. When I saw you wear the BLM shirt I thought oh no he’s for this Marxist organization and impending socialism. No one should disrespect our flag that so many faves their lives for. You have a cause? Do it in a different arena. How does disrespecting our flag get you. I’m a patriot and there are millions of us. I’ll stop watching sports if this continues.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Lebron James and the rest are an embarrassment to this country. Get paid so much money to be a disgrace to the sport and our country!

  5. Anonymous says:

    I don’t see Labron James in the enter cities spending some of his millions making a difference! Speak with actions. Make a difference! Let’s all watch the news and see if he spend some of that luxury money he has…. yeah I didn’t think so! A Joke!!!

  6. Luis Hallon says:

    You are the Racist. Ypurntrue colors finally showed
    You have no.respect. you think God’s gave you a talent
    But you do not help your community as you should
    You just give money some but you do nothing to get
    Them going on long term basis
    And em to help your race. Bow that 1oyld be smart. But you are acting like a child and actually like you welcome Socialism… let’s see how you do if Biden wins
    .. offcourse you like to kiss that white ass. Ha.ucation and instead of critizising your president you should try and work together with hin

  7. Anonymous says:

    Not a fan anymore I won’t watch or pay money to watch anybody that disrespects our flag and our military and our country

  8. Bob says:

    Personally I stopped watching; and would like to know what their saying now that all the footage is out and the media can’t show just what they want to

  9. Tom Chance says:

    Not watching

  10. Jim says:

    I like LeBron James but I don’t agree with what he is saying, nor do I agree with the way the league is handling this situation. Society has been brainwashed. … I was a three sport athlete growing up and I never worried about anything political… If you look under the microscope of what’s going on everyone would be surprised!… Why can’t we just keep life simple and just play the game and move On. … I quit watching basketball to… Generations have changed since I was young… People need to get a grip and find out for themselves about who’s controlling all this crap going on. … My advice to everyone is to just keep life simple and control what you can control; because in the end God will have the final say so!!…

  11. Anonymous says:

    I’ll not be watching either

  12. Anonymous says:

    The fact that we (fans of NBA) have been totally subjected to a selfish hijacking of the NBA’s basketball court by having to be reminded how many times during a televised game that “Black Live Matter” painted in large letters as if there is nothing racist about it, is crazy! IT IS RACIST because it announces a concern which in essence diminishes all others and their rightful concerns. What about the 20% that are playing in the NBA that are not deemed “Black”? Where is their concern painted for the world to see? Not Racism? You bet it is and why not just let the NBA prosper from its base that enjoys the right to be racists and Force them and the teams to adjust the budgets accordingly. I suggest we the people that are being discriminated against just simply let that happen. You are keeping racism alive and well by having that slogan painted on the floors of games televised or attended. It is a loser, especially when it is punctuated by disrespecting the Flag and Country in which you not only play the game professionally but are a citizen of it as well. Shame on all of you who are as selfishly ignorant as you appear to be. It proves only one thing, which most of us already know – just because you can play a mean game of basketball doesn’t make you a better person – if anything your wealth resulting from such endeavor only makes you less appreciated when the mouth opens and you start mumbling your opinions as if it mattered. It only makes headlines for those that’ll use you to promote themselves. I am not one, but I’ll simply turn to the sports score lines and Lear of who won or lost. That is all that really matters in the game of basketball – to make it political you are simply cutting off your nose to spite the face!
    Respect the minority that is contributing to the game as well as the majority that attends and watches the games played. Without them the superstars won’t be able to demand the contracts which I believe are being taken for granted even today.

  13. Anthony says:

    Lebrun you are a cowardly follower. Look in the stands and see who pays your salary. Ratings are down and will continue to drop. You never had any issues before. Good riddance pro sports

  14. Eric George says:

    King James just gave another brain spank to a white man that thinks he’s a plantation owner. Fk trump. This ain’t reality TV. GFYS! Ballers stepping out side of their careers to plant a social message flag! That’s what yungstas need to see! More power to the professional athlete nation! Mr Elijah Cummings and Mr John Lewis are proud of you !

  15. Pasquale Leone says:

    I thought the someone that’s making millions of dollars in this country would have more brains then this asshole they seam to forget that if it wasn’t for the men and women that fought for this country they wouldn’t have a game to play and a place to play it in and make their millions If you kneel for the Anthem you should be thrown out of the league period so screw you and your game

  16. Robert says:

    I don’t watch or support the NBA today. I’m a life long fan that has more racism today then ever before, keep it up and you will only make the divide wider.

  17. Jim says:

    Dear Mr. James,
    Like a lot of us veterans who feel you and your friends in the NBA, the NFL and MLB can take a knee. I along with a few million other people will be doing something else besides watching you all play?
    I’m strongly encouraging everyone I know to turn off your games stop going to the events and Stop buying whatever your friends are selling. Good luck you do have China!

  18. Joan Stauffer says:

    LeBron James is a multimillionaire thanks to the fans who pay to see his team, NOT just him to play. In addition, I’m sure they get a cut from the ads.
    President Trump is highly respected and he voiced how Americans feel with not standing for the national anthem. Our feelings and thoughts on your and other teams, athletes are reflected in loss of views and sponsors will feel the heat.
    Athletes don’t deserve the salaries you get.
    So James don’t trounce on the President.
    You are expressing yourself (selves) and so is the President. We, the people, speak with President Trump

  19. melissa says:

    Please! People keep saying Lebron has done nothing. He created the IPROMISE school, has a scholarship fund set up gor all the kids who will graduate amongst various other charitable organizations. People are so jealous of him. WOW!! Racist remarks!! They say NBA is disrespectful towards a flag. The flag was for white people not people of color. They are not disrepecting your flag. No one should be forced to pledge any allegiance to an inanimate object. I personally don’t. I sjt down and watch. Only allegiance I pledge is to GOD.

  20. Peggy says:

    The flag is for everyone and you are the one being racist.
    Men and women of all colors have fought for our flag!

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