Obama says LeBron James ‘did the right thing,’ encourages more athletes to embrace social issues
Dec 19, 2014 6:48am PST by Shaun King
In a recent interview with PeopleMagazine, President Obama expressed his support for athletes being socially conscious and how he’d love to see more of it. Asked how he felt about Lebron James and other athletes wearing “I Can’t Breathe” T-shirts to honor Eric Garner in their pre-game warmup, President Obama said:
“You know, I think LeBron did the right thing,” Obama told PEOPLE two days after that Cavaliers-Nets game.”We forget the role that Muhammad Ali, Arthur Ashe and Bill Russell played in raising consciousness,” the president continued.
“We went through a long stretch there where [with] well-paid athletes the notion was: just be quiet and get your endorsements and don’t make waves,” he also said. “LeBron is an example of a young man who has, in his own way and in a respectful way, tried to say, ‘I’m part of this society, too’ and focus attention.”
“I’d like to see more athletes do that,” he added. “Not just around this issue, but around a range of issues.”
At a time where police unions across the country are calling athletes pathetic, ignorant, and demanding apologies for wearing these shirts, it’s very refreshing to see our president stand up for the social consciousness of athletes and even give their actions some historical context.