LeBron needs to change his game off the court

On the court, LeBron James is a wonderful basketball player.  Maybe the best to ever play the game!  Off the court, he also does a lot of wonderful things to help people, such as spearheading a school for at-risk youth in Akron, Ohio, which is scheduled to open next fall.

Recently, however, James made the following comments about President Trump, which raised some eyebrows:

[Trump is] 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.

He continued: "Sports has never been something that divides people; it's always been something that brings someone together."

The three-time NBA champion was also asked whether he'd sit down with Trump, whom James once called a "bum" for disinviting Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry from the White House.

"I would never sit across from him.  I'd sit across from Barack, though," he replied.

LeBron James does not particularly support President Trump. That is his right as an American citizen.  He is also free to disagree with the president's policies, to analyze them critically, and to generally voice his opinions.  While some would vehemently disagree with his conclusion (i.e., people could just as easily point to Colin Kaepernick as the protagonist who brought politics and the associated divisiveness into the sports arena when he refused to stand for the National Anthem during a football game), it is not his conclusion that is troubling, as he has every right to express his opinion.

What is most troubling is his last point, where he expresses an unwillingness to sit across from President Trump.  On the one hand, LeBron expresses frustration and concern stemming from conduct and rhetoric he deems divisive.  On the other hand, he is unwilling to meet with, and to discuss, these important issues with the president of the United States?  Given his status and reach, isn't this blanket refusal and condemnation just as, if not more, divisive?       

LeBron James is not simply another American citizen.  He is a star athlete, an icon, and a role model for many children and adults.  People look up to him.

On the court, James does a masterful job as an ambassador of the game of basketball.  Despite regularly getting hit, clawed, and shoved, and despite his occasional disagreements with the referees about a specific play or a missed call, he always remains respectful and compassionate, stays out of trouble, and leads by example.

With fame comes responsibility. No matter how much LeBron disagrees with the president's policies, his refusal to "sit across from him" conveys not a message of hope, but a message of divisiveness.  When his followers hear him utter these words, doesn't this drive a bigger wedge between them and those with opposing views?  Wouldn't it be more impactful if LeBron used the platform and fame he has derived from basketball (sports) to spread the message that, despite his obvious disapproval of the president's policies, he is willing to meet with the president and to discuss his concerns in a respectful manner?

While LeBron does not see eye to eye with the president on many issues, he can learn something from him about leadership.  After all, President Trump met with the leader of a rogue regime in North Korea although he did not agree with his policies.  He also met with Vladimir Putin despite the obvious distrust between the USA and Russia.  Most recently, President Trump offered to meet with Iranian president Hassan Rouhani with "no preconditions," despite the growing tensions between the USA and Iran.  The purpose of these meetings is to improve relations and to work toward solving complex problems. 

LeBron has a huge platform and a large audience.  If he changes his approach toward the president, he might quickly realize that the president is not the divisive one in this equation.

Mr. Hakim is a writer and a practicing attorney.  His articles have been published in World Net Daily, American Thinker, Sun-Sentinel, and other online publications.   

https://thoughtfullyconservative.wordpress.com

Twitter: @Elad3599

On the court, LeBron James is a wonderful basketball player.  Maybe the best to ever play the game!  Off the court, he also does a lot of wonderful things to help people, such as spearheading a school for at-risk youth in Akron, Ohio, which is scheduled to open next fall.

Recently, however, James made the following comments about President Trump, which raised some eyebrows:

[Trump is] 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.

He continued: "Sports has never been something that divides people; it's always been something that brings someone together."

The three-time NBA champion was also asked whether he'd sit down with Trump, whom James once called a "bum" for disinviting Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry from the White House.

"I would never sit across from him.  I'd sit across from Barack, though," he replied.

LeBron James does not particularly support President Trump. That is his right as an American citizen.  He is also free to disagree with the president's policies, to analyze them critically, and to generally voice his opinions.  While some would vehemently disagree with his conclusion (i.e., people could just as easily point to Colin Kaepernick as the protagonist who brought politics and the associated divisiveness into the sports arena when he refused to stand for the National Anthem during a football game), it is not his conclusion that is troubling, as he has every right to express his opinion.

What is most troubling is his last point, where he expresses an unwillingness to sit across from President Trump.  On the one hand, LeBron expresses frustration and concern stemming from conduct and rhetoric he deems divisive.  On the other hand, he is unwilling to meet with, and to discuss, these important issues with the president of the United States?  Given his status and reach, isn't this blanket refusal and condemnation just as, if not more, divisive?       

LeBron James is not simply another American citizen.  He is a star athlete, an icon, and a role model for many children and adults.  People look up to him.

On the court, James does a masterful job as an ambassador of the game of basketball.  Despite regularly getting hit, clawed, and shoved, and despite his occasional disagreements with the referees about a specific play or a missed call, he always remains respectful and compassionate, stays out of trouble, and leads by example.

With fame comes responsibility. No matter how much LeBron disagrees with the president's policies, his refusal to "sit across from him" conveys not a message of hope, but a message of divisiveness.  When his followers hear him utter these words, doesn't this drive a bigger wedge between them and those with opposing views?  Wouldn't it be more impactful if LeBron used the platform and fame he has derived from basketball (sports) to spread the message that, despite his obvious disapproval of the president's policies, he is willing to meet with the president and to discuss his concerns in a respectful manner?

While LeBron does not see eye to eye with the president on many issues, he can learn something from him about leadership.  After all, President Trump met with the leader of a rogue regime in North Korea although he did not agree with his policies.  He also met with Vladimir Putin despite the obvious distrust between the USA and Russia.  Most recently, President Trump offered to meet with Iranian president Hassan Rouhani with "no preconditions," despite the growing tensions between the USA and Iran.  The purpose of these meetings is to improve relations and to work toward solving complex problems. 

LeBron has a huge platform and a large audience.  If he changes his approach toward the president, he might quickly realize that the president is not the divisive one in this equation.

Mr. Hakim is a writer and a practicing attorney.  His articles have been published in World Net Daily, American Thinker, Sun-Sentinel, and other online publications.   

https://thoughtfullyconservative.wordpress.com

Twitter: @Elad3599