LeBron James: 'This race thing is taking over' as Donald Trump uses sports 'to divide us'

While talking about the importance of sports for youth, LeBron James chided Donald Trump for using sports as a wedge among Americans. (AP)
While talking about the importance of sports for youth, LeBron James chided Donald Trump for using sports as a wedge among Americans. (AP)

LeBron James spent his Monday touting the opening of an Akron elementary school for at-risk children that he played a significant role in funding and shaping.

LeBron James calls out Donald Trump over race issues

While promoting the school with CNN’s Don Lemon, James took the opportunity to discuss the state of race and politics in the United States. James did not hesitate to call out President Donald Trump for his penchant of using race as a wedge issue in his politicking.

“We’re in a position right now in America where this whole race thing is taking over. One, because I believe our president is trying to divide us.

He’s dividing us, and what I’ve noticed over the last few months is that he’s kind of used sport to kind of divide us. That’s something that I can’t relate to, because I know that sport was the first time I ever was around someone white. I got an opportunity to see them and learn about them, and they got an opportunity to learn about me, and we became very good friends. I was like this is all because of sports. And sports has never been something that divided people. It’s always been something that brings someone together.”

James a frequent critic of Trump

James, unlike many of his counterparts and predecessors, has rarely been shy to speak candidly on politics and controversial issues and has been a frequent critic of Trump’s tactic of using his pulpit to sow division.

Prior to the start of last season, James called Trump a bum after he rescinded an invitation to the champion Golden State Warriors to attend the White House.

“My first initial response was, ‘You bum,’” James told reporters. “He doesn’t understand the power that he has for being the leader of this beautiful country. He doesn’t understand how many kids, no matter the race, look up to the president of the United State for guidance, for leadership, for words of encouragement. He doesn’t understand that, and that’s what makes me more sick than anything.”

James has a powerful voice, one of the few that can stand out in a saturated media landscape that’s often overwhelmed by Trump.

With his move to Los Angeles and his burgeoning media empire, we should expect to continue to hear James challenge the president’s policies.

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Jason Owens is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Follow him on Twitter.