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LeBron James laughs off Trump's criticism of NBA players taking a knee

NBA star LeBron James says the league won't miss Donald Trump's viewership after the US President criticized players for kneeling during the national anthem.

Posted: Aug 7, 2020 12:50 AM
Updated: Aug 7, 2020 12:50 AM

NBA star LeBron James says the league won't miss Donald Trump's viewership after the US President criticized players for kneeling during the national anthem.

Following the deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, NBA players have been vocal in their calls for social justice and, as the season resumed last week, every player knelt during the national anthem, wearing Black Lives Matter T-shirts.

However, in an interview with Fox on Wednesday, Trump said it was "not acceptable" for athletes to take a knee, adding that he'd been an advocate for the sport to resume amid the pandemic.

He also repeated his claim that no one, apart from possibly Abraham Lincoln, had done more to help the Black community.

"Are you trying to make me laugh right now?" Los Angeles Lakers star James told reporters on Wednesday, when he was told of Trump's comments.

"I really don't think the basketball community [is] sad about losing his viewership."

Despite saying he didn't want to go into his thoughts on Trump, James encouraged people to use November's election race as a chance to vote for "change."

"I hope everyone, no matter the race, no matter the color, no matter their sides, see what leadership that we have at the top of our country and understand that November is right around the corner, and it's a big moment for us as Americans," he said.

"If we continue to talk about what we want better, we want change, we have an opportunity to do that.

"But the game will go on without his eyes on it. I can sit here and speak for all of us that love the game of basketball. We [couldn't] care less."

James has been one of the most vocal voices in the fight against racial injustice and, along with a host of fellow stars back in June, formed the campaign "More Than A Vote," which aimed to protect Black voting rights.

While acknowledging the NBA had been supportive of the BLM movement, James has continued to call for more change.

"In the past when we've seen progress, we've let our foot off the gas a little bit. We can't do that.," he said last month.

READ: Folau remains standing as other players take a knee on Super League's return

NBA donates $300m

On Wednesday, the NBA announced it was donating $300 million to establish the first-ever NBA Foundation to support Black communities.

Over the next 10 years, the funding will go towards supporting "three critical employment transition points: obtaining a first job, securing employment following high school or college, and career advancement once employed."

James was speaking to reporters after his LA Lakers side lost to Oklahoma City Thunder as the league continues its return following its suspension on March 11 due to the pandemic.

The world's top players are currently residing at Disney World in Orlando, Florida, with the sport creating a "bubble" around the teams.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 294091

Reported Deaths: 6669
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto19626230
Hinds18745386
Harrison16618278
Rankin12662264
Jackson12509224
Lee9679160
Madison9432199
Jones7928146
Forrest7184136
Lauderdale6813226
Lowndes6017137
Lamar586880
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Washington5205130
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Warren4124113
Pontotoc408469
Marshall401892
Monroe3982126
Union394974
Neshoba3782168
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Tate301774
Pike299795
Scott293170
Alcorn291261
Itawamba289374
Yazoo287962
Coahoma277367
Tippah276765
Copiah276357
Simpson273878
Prentiss269558
Leake252271
Wayne252241
Marion251978
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Adams233877
George231245
Newton227552
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Attala206269
Chickasaw200951
Holmes181770
Clay178550
Stone171929
Tallahatchie170439
Clarke169171
Calhoun157528
Smith152531
Yalobusha143737
Greene127433
Walthall123640
Noxubee122829
Montgomery121838
Perry121534
Lawrence119621
Carroll118124
Amite111232
Webster110230
Jefferson Davis101531
Tunica98923
Claiborne98129
Benton93324
Humphreys92527
Kemper89723
Quitman77114
Franklin75919
Choctaw69516
Wilkinson62326
Jefferson62027
Sharkey48817
Issaquena1676
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 492683

Reported Deaths: 9930
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson709061374
Mobile36044725
Madison32355455
Tuscaloosa24093410
Montgomery22536501
Shelby21892215
Baldwin19714283
Lee14950153
Morgan13641251
Calhoun13232286
Etowah13163319
Marshall11250209
Houston10073261
Elmore9371185
Limestone9353134
Cullman8891181
St. Clair8813223
Lauderdale8594211
DeKalb8441175
Talladega7511163
Walker6514255
Jackson6487102
Autauga624891
Blount6095127
Colbert6000118
Coffee5238102
Dale4637107
Russell403930
Franklin398977
Covington3953106
Chilton3868100
Escambia377272
Tallapoosa3581142
Clarke343650
Chambers3406110
Dallas3401141
Pike293272
Lawrence282684
Marion281695
Winston246567
Bibb244960
Geneva239070
Marengo235355
Pickens224454
Barbour211351
Hale209468
Fayette200256
Butler195666
Henry182241
Cherokee176838
Monroe166139
Randolph163640
Washington156435
Crenshaw144354
Clay143854
Macon141743
Cleburne137339
Lamar132533
Lowndes130851
Wilcox121625
Bullock116736
Conecuh106724
Perry105527
Sumter98331
Coosa88823
Greene87532
Choctaw55023
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