This week, LeBron James opened The I Promise School, a fully-funded public elementary school catering to 240 at-risk teenagers in Akron, Ohio. Attendees of the school are supported with an accelerated learning curriculum; free breakfast, lunch, and snacks; and the gift of a free bicycle. Students’ parents receive GED classes and job placement assistance, and if the student completes the school program and graduates from high school, James will cover their full tuition at the University of Akron. It’s one of the more admirable charity initiatives in recent memory and has been lauded by people across the political spectrum.
And yet to Donald Trump, none of that seems to matter.
In a tweet posted late Friday night, Trump criticized James for an interview he recently did with another prominent African American, CNN anchor Don Lemon. “Lebron James was just interviewed by the dumbest man on television, Don Lemon. He made Lebron look smart, which isn’t easy to do,” Trump wrote, before adding: “I like Mike!” in an apparent reference to former NBA superstar Michael Jordan.
In the interview, James criticized Trump for using sports to “divide” America, such as when he misrepresents athletes’ kneeling during the National Anthem as a protest against America. (In actuality, these athletes are protesting systemic racism and police brutality.)
“That’s something that I can’t relate to. I can’t sit back and not say nothing,” James said of Trump’s actions. James also said he has no interest in sitting down for a face-to-face meeting Trump.
Incidentally, prior to his criticism of James, Trump retweeted a quote from Pastor Darrell Scott calling Trump “the most pro-black president that we’ve had in our lifetime.”