Los Angeles Lakers basketball star LeBron James laughed off criticism from President Donald Trump over NBA players choosing to participate in kneeling protests before their games.
James told reporters on Wednesday that the game of basketball would do fine without the president watching.
“I really don’t think the basketball community are sad about losing his viewership, in viewing the game,” responded James.
“I think our game is in a beautiful position, and we have fans all over the world and, uh, our fans not only love the way we play the game,” he continued, “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, in acknowledging what’s right and what’s wrong.”
James implied that in order to achieve the change that many were seeking, Trump would need to lose the election in November.
“I hope everyone, no matter the race, no matter the color, no matter their sides, see what leadership that we have at the top of our country and understand that November is right around the corner, and it’s a big moment for us as Americans. If we continue to talk about what we want better, we want change, we have an opportunity to do that,” James continued.
“But the game will go on without his eyes on it,” he laughed.
“I can sit here and speak for all of us that love the game of basketball,” James concluded. “We could care less.”
“I just turn off the game”
James was responding to a question about comments the president made to Fox News in response to so many NBA players kneeling in protest as a part of the Black Lives Matter movement.
“I think it’s disgraceful,” 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. When I see them kneeling, I just turn off the game. I have no interest in the game.”
James also laughed at the reporter repeating the president’s claim that he had done more for African-Americans than any other president except possibly Abraham Lincoln.
“Are you trying to make me laugh right now?” he chuckled.
Here’s the full video of James’ comments:
LeBron James talks Lakers’ loss, reacts to President Trump’s criticism of kneeling | NBA on ESPN