Cleveland - LeBron
James said on Monday he did not regret branding President Donald Trump a
"bum", accusing the US leader of dividing the nation in his feud with
the sports world.
NBA star James had taken aim at Trump on Twitter on Saturday after
the president withdrew a White House invitation to the champion Golden
State Warriors and star player Stephen Curry.
"U bum @StephenCurry30 already said he ain't going! So therefore
ain't no invite. Going to White House was a great honor until you showed
up!" James wrote.
Asked if he regretted his choice of words on Monday, the Cleveland Cavaliers star gave a blunt response: "No."
In a press conference at the Cavaliers' pre-season media day, James
repeatedly referred to Trump as "that guy", saying he had failed to
bring the country together.
"First of all, I salute the NFL, the coaches, the players, the
owners, the fans. Everyone had any association with the NFL was
unbelievable," James told reporters at NBA Media Day.
"There was no
divide. Even from that guy that continues to try to divide us as people.
"We know this is the greatest country in the world, this is the land
of the free," James said.
"But we still have problems just like
everybody else. And when we have those problems, we have to figure out a
way to come together and be as great as we can be as a people.
"Because the people run this country. Not one individual - and damn sure not him," James added, referring to Trump.
James, the highest profile
star in the NBA, had words of praise for the way NFL players had
rallied together in protest at Trump on Sunday.
Trump's reaction to NFL players who protest during the national
anthem showed he did not know how to lead the nation, James added.
"He doesn’t understand the power that he has for being the leader of this beautiful country," James said.
"He doesn't understand how many kids, no matter the race, look up to
the President of the United States for guidance, for leadership, for
words of encouragement.
"He doesn't understand that. That's what makes me more sick than
anything," added James, insisting that Trump had misunderstood the
nature of the NFL protests, which were launched by former San Francisco
49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick to draw attention to racial injustice.
"It's powerful what all these athletes are doing. It's not about
disrespect for the flag and military and people who served," he said.
"It's about equality and having the option and freedom to speak about things they feel are unjust."
James meanwhile did not rule out the possibility of similar protests by NBA players next month when the league resumes.
"I wouldn't be surprised if something trickled down to the NBA if no
change happened between now and (October) the 17th," James said.