LeBron James says the violent mob of Donald Trump supporters forcing their way into the Capitol showed that there are “two Americas” and that the country had “s*** away four years” under his presidency.
Hundreds of Trump supporters stormed the Capitol Hill on Wednesday in a bid to overturn the election result, forcing Congress to postpone a session that would have certified President-elect Joe Biden's victory.
James watched on television as the events took place and on Thursday wondered what would have happened if the intruders had been mostly black.
"We live in two Americas and a prime example of that was yesterday," James said following the Los Angeles Lakers' 118-109 loss to the San Antonio Spurs.
"If you don’t understand or see that then you need to take a step back. Not just one step but four or five or even 10 steps backward.
“How do you want your kids or grandkids to live in this beautiful country? Yesterday was not it. I couldn’t help but to wonder if those were my kind storming the Capitol what would have been the outcome. We all know what would have happened if anyone even got close let alone storm or get in the offices.”
James has been a fierce critic of Trump and has spoken out against racial inequality and police brutality in the wake of the deaths of George Floyd and Jacob Blake.
The incidents led to protests worldwide.
“The events that took place yesterday was a direct correlation of the president that’s in the seat right now: of his actions, his beliefs, his wishes,” he added.
“He cares about nobody besides himself. Nobody. Absolutely nobody. He doesn’t care about this country. He doesn’t care about his family. He doesn’t care about anybody besides himself.”
He added: “He doesn’t care about this country or his family. We saw the tweets along the whole path to this destruction. Over the last four years we all knew. One thing you can never get back is time. We’ve literally just s*** away four years.
“Yesterday was shameful. We are supposed to be setting an example for all other countries on how to run things and change the world and yesterday we looked like a third-, fourth-, fifth-world country. It was embarrassing.”
James wore a shirt as he walked into Staples Center which read "DO YOU UNDERSTAND NOW?" and also featured the slogan: "In memoriam of the countless black lives lost to police brutality and racial injustice."
When asked about its meaning he said: “You will never understand the feeling of being a black man and woman in America.
“Do you understand how hard it is to continue to inspire and give everything we got? Everyone jumps on the bandwagon of what we provide, what we bring. How we dress, our music, our culture, our food.
"Everyone steals from what we do and then they want to act like we did it or brought it to this world. We don’t get our due diligence or anything back to his country except a slap in the face.”
Reuters contributed to this report
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