There is no feud between LeBron James and President Donald Trump — at least that’s what the Lakers star will tell you.
In an interview with The New York Times’ Astead W. Herndon, James made it clear he is not interested in exchanging words with Trump as Election Day approaches. James is more concerned with pushing members of the Black community to make their voices heard as part of his efforts with the More Than a Vote campaign, which is currently focused on combating misinformation targeted toward Black voters.
When Herndon spoke with James about what mattered most to him ahead of Election Day, he mentioned James’ past “back-and-forth” with Trump.
“I define success by our people going out and voting,” James said. “You know, there’s so many stats out there, you can see it every time. Who didn’t vote? What counties didn’t vote? What communities didn’t vote? And a lot of that has had to do with our Black people. So, hopefully, we can get them out and educated and let them understand how important this moment is.
“I don’t go back and forth with anybody. And I damn sure won’t go back and forth with that guy. But we want better, we want change in our community. We always talk about, ‘We want change,’ and now we have the opportunity to do that.”
James has been highly critical of Trump over the course of his presidency, including calling him a “bum” after Trump withdrew the Warriors’ White House invitation in 2017. Trump has also taken shots at both James and the NBA itself, most recently labeling the league a “political organization” and highlighting declining ratings. James responded by saying the basketball community wouldn’t be sad about losing his viewership.
As the Lakers ran through the 2020 NBA playoffs on their way to the championship, giving James the fourth title and Finals MVP of his career, the 35-year-old continued to speak out on the importance of voting. He isn’t slowing down with Election Day less than two weeks away.
“We believe that Black people, our community, we’ve been pushed away from our civic duty,” James told Herndon. “We’ve been fed misinformation for many years. And I’m in a position where I can educate people and, through More Than a Vote, educate people on how important this movement is, and how important their civic duty is. Not only to empower themselves, but to give back to their community as well.
“It’s something that we’re very passionate about — that I’m very passionate about. I’m happy and honored that I can have these athletes and these influencers and the people that want to be engaged with me as well.”