The pro-Donald Trump rioters who looted and destroyed the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday incited many athletes to speak out against the acts of violence, including Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James.
Following a 118-109 loss to the San Antonio Spurs on Thursday, James used his time at the podium to discuss the events that occurred in Washington. The four-time NBA champion openly wondered what would have happened if the rioters were Black and blamed Trump for the chaos.
“We live in two Americas,” James said, according to ESPN’s Dave McMenamin. “And that was a prime example of that yesterday, and if you don’t understand that or don’t see that after seeing what you saw yesterday, then you really need to take a step back — not even just one step, but maybe four or five, or even 10 steps backwards and ask yourself how do you want your kids, or how do you want your grandkids, or how do we want America to be viewed as? Do we want to live in this beautiful country?”
An unassertive police force met Wednesday’s mob of mostly white Americans at the Capitol, who were protesting Joe Biden’s certification as the 46th president of the United States.
James, who has openly feuded with Trump in the past, continued his press conference by saying the United States took a giant leap forward in electing Biden and Kamala Harris to lead the country for at least the next four years.
“We took a step forward in November by electing Joe and Kamala to be in the White House, for them to be the head of our country,” James said. “That is a step forward.”
Others around the NBA also spoke out on the matter, including the Boston Celtics and Miami Heat, who released a joint statement about the events that unfolded in Washington before their game on Wednesday. The Milwaukee Bucks and Detroit Pistons also took a knee immediately after tip-off on Wednesday.