James tweeted “Hate has always existed in America. Yes we know that but Donald Trump just made it fashionable again! Statues has nothing to do with us now!”
Considered to be the best basketball player in the world, James has used his platform on and off the court to speak on social justice issues of the time. In 2012, James and the Miami Heat took a photo paying tribute to Trayvon Martin, whose murder by vigilante George Zimmerman is seen by many as a key marker for the #BlackLivesMatter movement. In 2014, LeBron and other NBA players wore “I Can’t Breathe” shirts in honor of Eric Garner, the New York man killed when police put him in a chokehold during an arrest for selling loose cigarettes.
Last year, James, Carmelo Anthony, Chris Paul, and Dwyane Wade took the stage at the ESPY Awards to make a statement about the violence happening in the U.S. Lebron called on all athletes to educate themselves on issues and leverage their resources to make the country better.
“Tonight we’re honoring Muhammad Ali, the GOAT,” James said. “But to do his legacy any justice, let’s use this moment as a call to action to all professional athletes to educate ourselves, explore these issues, speak up, use our influence and renounce all violence and, most importantly, go back to our communities, invest our time, our resources, help rebuild them, help strengthen them, help change them. We all have to do better.”