LeBron James on Monday announced his decision to endorse Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton for the United States presidential elections in November this year.
The basketball legend, who led the Cleveland Cavaliers to their first N.B.A. championship this year, wrote an op-ed article in Business Insider, detailing the reasons behind his decision — a big one being the current president.
“I support Hillary because she will build on the legacy of my good friend, President Barack Obama,” James wrote. “I believe in what President Obama has done for our country and support her commitment to continuing that legacy.”
Originally from Akron, Ohio, James could be a formidable influence in the state that has handed the Republican nominee — Donald Trump — a narrow lead in the polls weeks before the election.
“Only one person running truly understands the struggles of an Akron child born into poverty,” James, who runs a foundation aimed at helping at-risk young people, wrote. “And when I think about the kinds of policies and ideas the kids in my foundation need from our government, the choice is clear. That candidate is Hillary Clinton.”
“Finally, we must address the violence, of every kind, the African-American community is experiencing in our streets and seeing on our TVs,” he wrote. “However, I am not a politician, I don’t know everything it will take finally to end the violence. But I do know we need a president who brings us together and keeps us unified.”
Trump did not take very well to the basketball player’s endorsement of his rival and expressed his opinion on James’ choice on Twitter.
James had not mentioned the construction mogul’s name in the article. However, indirectly attacking Trump’s allegedly racist rhetoric, he wrote: “Policies and ideas that divide us more are not the solution. We must all stand together — no matter where we are from or the color of our skin. And Hillary is running on the message of hope and unity that we need.”
Trump’s lead in the state is mostly attributed to the backing he has received from the men and white voters in the state. However, James has a huge following across the state, especially since he led the Cavaliers to their first major sports championship in 52 years, and could help tip the balance in Clinton's favor.