President Trump’s comments Tuesday on the events in Charlottesville, in which he returned to avoiding specific criticism of white nationalists while asserting that “there’s blame on both sides,” earned widespread condemnation. Among those letting the world know how little they thought of the president’s words were some NBA luminaries, including LeBron James and Steve Nash.
James told his 37.6 million Twitter followers, “Hate has always existed in America. Yes we know that but Donald Trump just made it fashionable again!”
The Cleveland Cavaliers star added that statues, such as the one of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee at the center of the Charlottesville rally and protests, have “nothing to do with us now!”
Moments later, Nash took to Twitter to say, “To defend white supremacists and then slang his [crappy] a— grape juice pretty much sums the man up.” Nash was referring to Trump’s remark that he knows “a lot about Charlottesville” because he owns “one of the largest wineries in the United States,” located there.
The first Canadian to be named NBA MVP, an award he won twice while with the Phoenix Suns, Nash garnered some attention for his political views before he retired in 2014. He wore a shirt protesting the Iraq War before the 2003 All-Star Game, and in 2010, he described an Arizona law on immigration as “misguided” and a “detriment” to “our society and our civil liberties.”
James campaigned for Hillary Clinton shortly before Election Day, and he has refused to stay at Trump-branded hotels while on road trips. At last year’s ESPY awards, in the wake of much-publicized killings of two black men by police and the subsequent gunning down of five officers during a protest in Dallas, James joined other NBA stars onstage to issue a “call to action” for athletes to “renounce all violence” and help rebuild their communities.
On Saturday, James shared these thoughts with his Twitter audience: “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.”
James and Nash weren’t the only NBA figures reacting to Trump’s comments Tuesday. Not surprisingly, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, a frequent critic of the president weighed in, saying on Twitter, “Do you think it’s a problem that POTUS couldn’t take command of a press conference with out seeming to lose his composure?”
The “Shark Tank” star added, “What do you say to an entrepreneur that always blames everyone else and never accepts their mistakes?”
Meanwhile, ESPN analyst and former NBA player and coach Mark Jackson kept it succinct.