LeBron James: Trump try­ing to di­vide through sport­fight

Fiji Sun - - World News - BBC Feed­back: jy­otip@fi­jisun.com.fj

Wash­ing­ton: Bas­ket­ball star LeBron James has praised the Amer­i­can foot­ball play­ers who have protested against Don­ald Trump, and ac­cused the US pres­i­dent of “us­ing sports to try and di­vide us”. Trump said on Fri­day that NFL play­ers who fail to stand dur­ing the na­tional an­them should be sacked or sus­pended.

In wide­spread protests at the week­end, play­ers re­sponded by kneel­ing, link­ing arms or stay­ing in the locker room.

James praised the play­ers’ unity, and said: “The peo­ple run this coun­try.”

The 32-year-old added: “I’m not go­ing to let one in­di­vid­ual, no mat­ter their power, ever use sport as a plat­form to di­vide us.

“Sport is so amaz­ing, what it can do for every­one. No mat­ter the shape, size, weight, eth­nic­ity, re­li­gion or what­ever - peo­ple find teams, play­ers and colours be­cause of sport. It brings peo­ple to­gether like none other.”

James, who plays for the Cleve­land Cava­liers and has won three NBA cham­pi­onships, cam­paigned for Hil­lary Clin­ton, Trump’s ri­val, dur­ing the 2016 pres­i­den­tial elec­tion cam­paign. How did we get here? Quar­ter­back Colin Kaeper­nick was one of the first play­ers to kneel dur­ing the na­tional an­them last year, in protest at the treat­ment of black Amer­i­cans. Speak­ing at a Repub­li­can rally on Fri­day, Trump de­scribed those who knelt as “sons of bitches”, adding they should be sacked by team own­ers.

More than 20 play­ers and staff from the Bal­ti­more Ravens and the Jack­sonville Jaguars knelt or linked arms be­fore their match at Wem­b­ley on Sun­day. There was a sim­i­lar re­sponse at all of the week­end’s NFL matches, with three teams re­main­ing in the locker rooms or tun­nel for the du­ra­tion of the an­them.

Bas­ket­ball star LeBron James.

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