NBA superstar LeBron James told CNN’s Don Lemon that he feels President Donald J. Trump is using sports to “kind of divide” America.
Syndicated radio talk-show host Larry Elder, who is black, categorically disagrees with James premise.
“If Trump is using sports to ‘kind of divide us’ to quote LeBron James, what the devil has Colin Kaepernick done, and the players who followed suit?” Elder said on his Salem Communications show.
Elder added, “Is it Trump who forced Colin Kaepernick to a knee?”
In the August 2016, Kaepernick, playing for San Francisco, started the anthem protest movement, which has included some players kneeling during the Star-Spangled Banner.
“I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color” Kaepernick said upon the start of the movement.
Trump has been very critical of the anthem-protesters.
Elder feels James is blaming the wrong person for dividing America.
“I find it mind-boggling that not only does [James] criticize Trump for suggesting players ought to stand, but he’s accusing Trump of trying to divide America” Elder said. “Most Americans, by the way, believe that players ought to stand. Most American support Trump on this issue.”
“When you are part of sports, it brings so much camaraderie and so much fun,” James said in a lengthy interview with Don Lemon. “We are in a position right now in American, more importantly, where this race thing has taken over. One because I believe our President is kind of trying to divide us.”
“Kind of?” Lemon interjected, laughing.
“He is, I don’t want to say, ‘kind of.’ And what I’ve noticed over the last few months is that he’s kind of used sports to kind of divide us and that’s something I can’t relate to.”
James added, “Sports has never been something that divides us – it’s been something that brings us together.”
After this interview aired, Trump blasted the pair on Twitter.
“Lebron James was just interviewed by the dumbest man on television, Don Lemon,” Mr. Trump wrote. “He made Lebron look smart, which isn’t easy to do. I like Mike (Jordan)!”
— CNN Communications (@CNNPR) August 4, 2018
Elder agrees with James that sports should be fun.
“I agree with what LeBron James said that sports is about fun,” Elder said. “Especially if you are a paying customer and you are coming to a sporting event and all of a sudden a civil rights protest breaks out. What is that?”
Elder believes the people trying to divide American are in the Democrat party, the one James supports. James endorsed Hillary Clinton for President in 2016.
“Trump is using sports to divide?” Elder asked rhetorically.
“Democrats are using race to divide America, which in effect is what [James] is accusing Donald Trump of doing. Papa John’s CEO, on an earnings call, was trying explain why results weren’t good that quarter. He talked about the NFL and the kneeling, which caused a lot of people to not watch football and not order pizza. When he said that, he was accused of racism because most of the players in the NFL are black.
“So if it’s racist to just say player ought to stand and the NFL should deal with it, and that is using race, so what do you think [James’] party has been doing for decades?”
At this point, Elder played a string of soundbites of Democrats saying things the host believed were racially divisive, including Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill in 2006 after Hurricane Katrina, saying, “George Bush let people die on rooftops in New Orleans because they were poor and because they were black.”
After playing the soundbites, Elder asked James, “Is that using race to divide America?”