LeBron James took to Twitter Saturday to voice his displeasure with the violence and white nationalist rallying taking place in Charlottesville, Va. this past weekend, and appeared to take a pointed swipe at President Donald Trump as well.
James, who has been famously outspoken on social issues in the past, expressed his sadness at the weekend’s events and made a reference to Trump’s ‘Make America Great Again’ slogan, appearing to punctuate it with a sense of frustration. The white nationalists openly and verbally aligned themselves with Trump’s campaign rhetoric, with some Charlottesville marchers yelling “Heil Trump” while also parroting antiquated, racist sentiment.
It's sad what's going on in Charlottesville. Is this the direction our country is heading? Make America Great Again huh?! He said that???????????— LeBron James (@KingJames) August 12, 2017
Our youth deserves better!! Flat out— LeBron James (@KingJames) August 12, 2017
James continued to speak out against Trump at his foundation's annual family reunion.
LeBron's full comments on Charlottesville: pic.twitter.com/FJJCT8rkiN— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) August 16, 2017
It's worth nothing that Quicken Loans, which is owned by Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert, donated $750,000 to Trump's inauguration, according to the Detroit Free Press. Trump called Gilbert a "great friend of mine" and a "supporter" when Gilbert visited the White House in June.
James is chief among a number of NBA players and other athletes who have spoken up against the violent, racist rhetoric after scores of white nationalists with torches marched, chanted racial slurs and attacked counter-protestors in Charlottesville on Friday night. The situation escalated and resulted in one person’s death and 19 injured after a car plowed over another group of counter-protestors. The group known as the Detroit Right Wings adopted the Detroit Red Wings’ logo as their own, which the NHL franchise also went online to condemn.
James’s Los Angeles-area home was vandalized with racist graffiti during this year’s NBA playoffs. He has been increasingly willing to speak out on social and political issues, especially related to race. He famously wore an "I Can't Breathe" shirt during warmups in 2014 to protest the NYPD killing Eric Garner, and he gave a joint speech about violence and racism with Chris Paul, Dwyane Wade and Carmelo Anthony at the 2016 ESPYS.