We might debate whether LeBron James is the greatest of all-time on the basketball court.
But there is one area where James is among the best in: using his platform to bring light to important social matters.
On Monday morning, Donald Trump, the President of the United States, canceled a scheduled visit by the NFL champion Philadelphia Eagles, citing that they were not on board with his views on the National Anthem.
The Philadelphia Eagles Football Team was invited to the White House. Unfortunately, only a small number of players decided to come, and we canceled the event. Staying in the Locker Room for the playing of our National Anthem is as disrespectful to our country as kneeling. Sorry!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 5, 2018
Despite the fact that not a single Eagles player kneeled or stayed in the locker room at any point during the 2017 season, Trump chose to use the cancellation as a chance to take another pot shot at the NFL, whom he had been engaged in a social media beef since becoming the President.
During the media session on Tuesday, James was asked about his thoughts on Trump’s cancellation. And not surprisingly, James gave a strong rebuke, along with his own response to the White House.
“It’s typical of him. I’m not surprised,” James replied. “Typical of him and – I know no matter who wins this series, no one wants the invite anyway. It won’t be Golden State or Cleveland going.”
LeBron was asked what he thought of Trump disinviting the Eagles from their White House visit: “It’s typical of him. I’m not surprised. Typical of him and – I know no matter who wins his series, no one wants the invite anyway. It won’t be Golden State or Cleveland going.”
— Rachel Nichols (@Rachel__Nichols) June 5, 2018
This echoed a similar action made by the defending champion Golden State Warriors last season, when they famously refused an “invite” to the White House and instead took local students from Kevin Durant’s hometown of Seat Pleasant, Maryland, to the National Museum of African American History and Culture.
Staying on the topic of the White House, ESPN’s Rachel Nichols mentioned that the WNBA champion Minnesota Lynx weren’t even invited, to which James responded with a somber, yet lashing quote.
“It’s laughable – you laugh to keep from crying,” James replied.
Other players, notably Durant and Stephen Curry, agreed with James on the notion that neither team wants an invite, though Curry said that each team has their own opinion and are welcome to do what they choose.
Before joining The Ball Out, Chris Bullock was part of SB Nation’s Swish Appeal for nearly three years, covering everything women’s basketball. Chris has had the honor of doing live coverage of the WNBA Finals, the NCAA Tournament, and also was given his own column, “The Triple Double”. A self-described “foodaholic”, Chris lives in the San Diego area with his wife and two daughters, and also hosts his own podcast, “Conscious Cravings”, where he speaks about his experience as a mental health advocate.