The King is playing kingmaker. Writing Sunday in Business Insider, NBA superstar LeBron James announced his support for Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump in the presidential election.
James, a hero in the crucial swing state of Ohio and for fans of the state’s Cleveland Cavaliers, writes:
Only one person running truly understands the struggles of an Akron child born into poverty. And when I think about the kinds of policies and ideas the kids in my foundation need from our government, the choice is clear.
As the Toronto Star’s Daniel Dale noted on Twitter, James’s endorsement stands out from most celebrity athletes. Just a handful of the NBA’s prominent superstars have spoken out directly about who they’re supporting in the presidential election.
James doesn’t come out and say outright that he’s endorsing Clinton because he believes Trump is hoping to divide America along racial lines. But that’s the clear implication of what he writes.
“I am not a politician, I don’t know everything it will take finally to end the violence. But I do know we need a president who brings us together and keeps us unified,” James says. “Policies and ideas that divide us more are not the solution. We must all stand together — no matter where we are from or the color of our skin. And Hillary is running on the message of hope and unity that we need.”
There’s been no reaction so far from the Trump campaign to James’s endorsement. As reporters quickly discovered after the endorsement surfaced, Trump has previously praised James as a “great guy” who “delivers under pressure.”
Trump sounds like a big LeBron fan: pic.twitter.com/Wo3gLZvP33— Conor Sen (@conorsen) October 3, 2016
We’ll see if Trump offers similar praise for James during the next NBA season — especially if the Donald is watching from Trump Tower instead of the White House.