NBA star LeBron James believes that President Donald Trump is using sports to divide Americans — and he has no interest in sitting down to speak with the president, either.
What's the background?
James, 33, sat down with CNN's Don Lemon on Monday for an interview where the NBA all-star talked about the opening of his new educational institution in his hometown of Akron, Ohio — the "I Promise School."
James and his foundation set up the school to benefit children, who don't have good opportunities at early junctures of their lives, teaming up with with Akron Public Schools in order to conceive and create an elementary school to support at-risk children.
"We want every kid that walks through this school to be inspired, to come ... away with something, something where they can give back," James said.
According to CNN, James "poured millions [of dollars] from his own pocket into the project."
"For kids, in general, all they want to know is that someone cares," James explained. "And when they walk through that door, I hope they know that someone cares."
What about politics and sports?
During the interview, James also touched upon the intersection of politics and sports, and pointed out a trend he's recently noticed.
"What I've noticed over the past few months is that [Trump has] kinda used sports to kinda divide us, and that's something I can't relate to," he told Lemon.
Pointing to former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick — who helped usher in the "taking a knee" movement — and others who have taken issue with Trump, James added that the president has taken these protests and attempted to use them as an illustration for how the American value system is eroding.
"I can't sit back and say nothing," James said.
"Sports was the first time I was ever around someone white," he said. "I've got an opportunity to see them and learn about them, and they got the opportunity to learn about me. ... And I was like, 'Oh wow, this is all because of sports.'"
Lemon went on to ask what James would say to Trump if he were seated in front of him.
Mincing no words, James responded, "I would never sit across from him."
LeBron James (@KingJames) says Trump's trying to use sport to divide people, but he believes it brings people together. He sits down with @donlemon at the opening of his new elementary school for at-risk children in his hometown of Akron, Ohio. Watch 10pET https://t.co/koTK4RarqE pic.twitter.com/CQYsTz2Fzl
— CNN (@CNN) July 30, 2018