Cleveland Cavaliers star LeBron James lashed out at President Trump today on social media after the president said he was withdrawing his invitation to the Golden State Warriors' Steph Curry to visit the White House.
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James, in his tweet, referred to Trump's comment that visiting the White House is "a great honor."
"Going to White House was a great honor until you showed up," Lebron wrote.
U bum @StephenCurry30 already said he ain't going! So therefore ain't no invite. Going to White House was a great honor until you showed up!— LeBron James (@KingJames) September 23, 2017
The three-time NBA champion later posted a two-minute video on Uninterrupted.com, a media outlet dedicated to giving athletes a platform to speak their minds, in which he criticized Trump, saying he "has tried to divide us once again."
"He’s now using sports as the platform to try to divide us," James said. "For him to try to use this platform to divide us even more is not something I can stand for and is not something I can be quiet about."
James finished the monologue by encouraging "us to all come together. It’s not about a division. It's not about dividing. We as American people need to come together even stronger."
The president's earlier tweet apparently was in response to Curry's disclosure that he didn't want to go to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
No formal White House invite had been made to the Warriors but championship teams often make such a visit. The Warriors, winner of the 2017 NBA championship, have been in discussions with the White House about whether to visit, ESPN reported.
"I don't want to go," Curry told the press Friday. "My beliefs stay the same."
Going to the White House is considered a great honor for a championship team.Stephen Curry is hesitating,therefore invitation is withdrawn!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 23, 2017
Curry, the Warrior's star shooter, has said it was important for the team "to understand the magnitude" of its decision of whether to visit the White House.
"Just like our country, every opinion counts and matters," Curry said, according to ESPN.
"Based on the conversations we've had in the past and what people have said to the media, to each other, I know pretty much where everybody kind of stands on it," he said. "But we want to respect the opportunity to represent not only ourselves, our own beliefs, but our organization because we're obviously in this position because we won a championship and we did something special together. So for us to just really take the time to understand the magnitude of this decision and the right thing to do, the right way to go about it is important."
Warriors coach Steve Kerr said Friday that he expects the team to meet in coming days to decide whether to go. But after Trump's tweet, the team posted a statement to Twitter on Saturday afternoon, saying, "We accept that President Trump has made it clear that we are not invited."
"While we intended to meet as a team at the first opportunity we had this morning to collaboratively discuss a potential visit to the White House, we accept that President Trump has made it clear that we are not invited. We believe there is nothing more American than our citizens having the right to express themselves freely on matters important to them. We're disappointed that we did not have an opportunity during this process to share our views or have open dialogue on issues impacting our communities that we felt would be important to raise," the Warriors said in the statement.
It added, "In lieu of a visit to the White House, we have decided that we'll constructively use our trip to the nation's capital in February to celebrate equality, diversity and inclusion -- the values that we embrace as an organization."
Statement from the Golden State Warriors: pic.twitter.com/6kk6ofdu9X— Warriors PR (@WarriorsPR) September 23, 2017
Curry spoke to the media again on Saturday after a practice, and he reiterated his stance from Friday.
"My stance is the same as it was," Curry told ESPN.com on Saturday. "And even kind of cemented even further about how things in our country are going, especially with [Trump] representing us in a very damaging way.
"I don't know why he feels the need to target certain individuals rather than others. I have an idea of why, but it's kind of beneath a leader of a country to go that route. That's not what leaders do."
NBA commissioner Adam Silver said Saturday evening he was "disappointed" the NBA champs wouldn't be going to the White House, which he said was "a rare opportunity for these players to share their views directly with the President."
"More importantly, I am proud of our players for taking an active role in their communities and continuing to speak out on critically important issues," he added.
The NBA Players Association also supported the Warriors' decision.
"The National Basketball Players Association defends its members' exercise of their free speech rights against those who would seek to stifle them. The celebration of free expression - not condemnation - is what truly makes America great," the union said in a statement.