LeBron James isn’t usually politically outspoken; so, when he is, it definitely gets noticed. His response to the chaos caused by a White Supremacists rally in Charlottesville, Virginia--which resulted in three deaths and dozens of injuries–is already going viral across the web. James tweeted late Saturday: “It’s sad what’s going on in Charlottesville. Is this the direction our country is heading? Make America Great Again, huh? He said that.” The reference to Donald Trump’s campaign slogan follows the theme of LeBron’s most recent political statements.
He surprised many by joined Hillary Clinton on the campaign trail in 2016, making appearances in his home state of Ohio just prior to the election.
When the Cleveland Cavaliers visited the White House to meet with the now-sitting-duck-president Barack Obama, Obama stepped away from tradition by congratulating James and some of his fellow teammates not for their athletic prowess but also for their political activism. “These Cavs exemplify a growing generation of athletes that are using their platforms to speak out. We’ve seen Kevin [Love] on combating campus sexual assault. LeBron on issues like gun violence and working with Michelle to help more kids go to school.”
That same day, James reportedly met with Obama’s senior advisors to discuss working with law enforcement and the Cleveland community on bridging the gap that can so often lead to a tense or violent relationship between law enforcement and the communities they serve, especially impoverished communities and communities of color. James specifically spoke about Clinton’s ability, as he put it, to represent those communities; he called her the only candidate on the main ticket in 2016 who could understand “the struggles of an Akron child born into poverty.”
In a less serious moment a week after Trump’s inauguration, James took questions after the NBA All-Star Game vote. It was the first years players participated in the voting process for the All-Star game and there were some unexpected votes that came up. A reporter asked James if he thought the voting process had worked the way it was supposed to, to which the basketball icon replied: “There’s always goofy votes. I mean, Donald Trump is our president,” eliciting laughter from the press and others gathered for the interview.
His most recent political move is an extension of his response to the events in Charlottesville, it seems, as well as a continuation in the theme of “trolling” President Trump.
James had dinner with his wife Savannah in Miami Saturday night and then went upstairs with some friends to the restaurant’s lounge. According to TMZ James then DJ’d for the partiers, his wife and friends for about 2 hours while wearing a hat that, according to reports, looked a lot like Donald Trumps infamous “Make America Great Again” campaign hats. James’ hat, however, reportedly read: “Strive for Greatness,” instead of Trump’s MAGA slogan.
James didn’t comment on Trump or the situation in Charlottesville while DJ’ing; but, his choice of hat definitely seems like a purposeful and direct message to Donald Trump and the White Supremacists who marched in his name this weekend.