When LeBron James last visited Capital One Arena to play the Wizards on Nov. 3, the Cleveland Cavaliers star made a statement with his shoes and then his play. James showed up in Chinatown that night in high-top charcoal Nikes with “Long Live The King” stitched in blue and gold across the straps. He went on to score 57 points, grab 11 rebounds and dish out seven assists in a 130-122 Cavaliers win.
James made another statement with his kicks in his return trip to D.C. on Sunday night before recording his third consecutive triple-double in a 106-99 Cavaliers win. The four-time MVP, who finished with 20 points, 15 rebounds and 12 assists, took the court in one white shoe and one black shoe, with “EQUALITY” stitched in gold above a gold Nike swoosh on the back.
After the game, James suggested it wasn’t a coincidence that he debuted his white-and-black “EQUALITY” look during Cleveland’s final scheduled trip to D.C. this season.
“Obviously we all know where we are, and we know who is at the helm here,” James, who has been critical of President Trump and preferred not to mention him by name during the Cavaliers’ media day, told reporters Sunday. “Us as Americans, no matter the skin color, no matter who you are, I think we all have to understand that having equal rights and being able to stand for something and speak for something and keeping the conversation going.
“Obviously, I’ve been very outspoken and well-spoken about the situation that’s going on at the helm here, and we’re not going to let one person dictate us, us as Americans, how beautiful and how powerful we are as a people. Equality is all about understanding our rights, understanding what we stand for and how powerful we are as men and women, black or white or Hispanic. It doesn’t matter your race, whatever the case may be, this is a beautiful country, and we’re never going to let one person dictate how beautiful and how powerful we are.”
James wore a black pair of the same shoe — the LeBron 15 Equality PE — in the Cavaliers’ season opener in October to raise awareness after President Trump criticized NFL players for their peaceful protests during the national anthem.
“I just wanted to keep the conversation going,” James told ESPN’s Dave McMenamin after Cleveland’s win over Boston on opening night. “We know what we’re going through. We know what we went through as a nation, as a world [recently]. So I had an opportunity to use a platform for the greater good and keep the conversation going. Why not?”
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