NBA superstar LeBron James ripped President Donald Trump on Tuesday amid ongoing backlash over Trumpâs handling of last weekendâs violent white nationalist protests over the planned removal of a Confederate statue in Charlottesville, Virginia.
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âHate has always existed in America,â James wrote on Twitter. âYes we know that but Donald Trump just made it fashionable again! Statues has nothing to do with us now!â
Later, the Cleveland Cavaliers star took an additional swipe at Trump on Tuesday night during a charity event for the LeBron James Family Foundation at Cedar Point amusement park in Sandusky, Ohio. The Cleveland Cavaliers star called on the public to turn to love amid a divisive social and political climate.
âI know thereâs a lot of tragic things happening in Charlottesville. I just want to speak on it right now. I have this platform and Iâm somebody that has a voice of command and the only way for us to get better as a society and for us to get better as people is love,â James said. âAnd thatâs the only way weâre going to be able to conquer something as one. Itâs not about the guy thatâs the so-called president of the United States, or whatever the case.â
James joined several other athletes, including Philadelphia Eagles defensive end Chris Long and Seattle Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett, in speaking out this week about the events in Charlottesville.
Trump drew widespread criticism earlier this week after he failed to condemn by name the white supremacist groups that marched in Charlottesville. One person died and more than a dozen were injured in clashes between protesters.
The president reignited criticism on Tuesday by arguing that âthere is blame on both sidesâ of the political spectrum for the violence in Charlottesville. Several top business leaders have resigned from Trumpâs manufacturing council in response to his handling of the situation.