LeBron James, now of the Los Angeles Lakers, sat down with CNN's Don Lemon for a wide ranging interview that touched on both the opening of the I Promise School in his hometown of Akron, Ohio and Donald Trump placing himself into the debate around the national anthem protests that have rocked the NFL.
The jitters before the first day of school are real right now!!! Tomorrow is going to be one of the greatest moments (if not the greatest) of my life when we open the #IPROMISE School. This skinny kid from Akron who missed 83 days of school in the 4th grade had big dreams... https://t.co/PwmRaHRfng— LeBron James (@KingJames) July 29, 2018
On the subject of Trump and race, James said: "We are in a position right now in America [...] where this race thing has taken over, one because I believe our president is kind of trying to divide us."
"Kind of," Lemon interjected. "Yeah, he is. He is," James responded. "He's dividing us and what I've noticed over the last few months [...] he's kinda used sport to kinda divide us, and that's something that I can't relate to because I know that sport was the first time I ever was around someone white and I got the opportunity to see them and learn about them and they got an opportunity to learn about me and we became very good friends," James said. "Sports has never been something that divides people it's always been something that brings someone together."
LeBron James (@KingJames) says Trump's trying to use sport to divide people, but he believes it brings people together. He sits down with @donlemon at the opening of his new elementary school for at-risk children in his hometown of Akron, Ohio. Watch 10pET https://t.co/koTK4RarqE pic.twitter.com/CQYsTz2Fzl— CNN (@CNN) July 30, 2018
James mentioned that the killing of Trayvon Martin was a turning point for him in terms of becoming more involved politically and voicing his thoughts. "It starts with the Trayvon Martin situation, having kids of my own, boys of my own, it hit home," he remarked. "That kinda hit a switch for me. From that point on I knew my voice and my platform had to be used for more than just sports."
Watch LeBron's CNN interview with Don Lemon up top.