LeBron James issued a harsh rebuke Tuesday of Donald Trump following the president’s defense of white supremacists at a press conference.
On Saturday, the day after white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va., Trump was harshly criticized for denouncing hatred and bigotry “on many sides.” He came out Monday with a more direct condemnation of “racist violence.” But at a press conference on Tuesday, Trump backpedaled and once again blamed “many sides” including the “alt-left” and said there were “very fine people on both sides.” David Duke, the former leader of the Ku Klux Klan, tweeted praise for Trump’s remarks.
Shortly after the press conference, James sent a tweet bluntly criticizing the president’s words.
James broached the subject again later Monday night while speaking at an event for his charity at a Cleveland-area amusement park. James closed his speech to the children with a message of hope, saying “the only way for us to get better as a society and for us to get better as people is love.” He also referred to Trump as “the so-called president.”
James also expressed disappointment with the Charlottesville violence and Trump over the weekend.
James has long been one of America’s most prominent socially active athletes. He wore an “I Can’t Breathe” shirt in 2014 to protest the killing of Eric Garner by a New York City police officer and was one of four NBA players who opened the 2016 ESPY awards with a speech on race and police violence. James has also been critical of Trump in particular, saying he was unsure whether he’d visit the White House while Trump is president.