Election 2020

LeBron James Endorses Hillary: Praises 'Message of Hope and Unity'

President Barack Obama looks to Miami Heat forward LeBron James as he welcomes the NBA basketball champion to the East Room of the White House, Monday, Jan. 28, 2013 (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

LeBron James, the three-time NBA champion and four-time most valuable player based in Akron, Ohio, endorsed Hillary Clinton in a Business Insider op-ed published Sunday evening. James connected the work of his non-profit the LeBron James Family Foundation to Clinton’s “message of hope and unity” for children and their futures. While James’ declarations that Clinton is a uniter may fall on deaf ears, his endorsement may carry weight in the swing state of Ohio.

“Policies and ideas that divide us more are not the solution,” James wrote. “We must all stand together — no matter where we are from or the color of our skin. And Hillary is running on the message of hope and unity that we need.”

James also said the Democrat nominee would “build on the legacy of my good friend, President Barack Obama.” The NBA star declared, “I believe in what President Obama has done for our country and support her commitment to continuing that legacy.”

Does James consider the increased racial tensions of the last few years, punctuated by the violent riots of some in the “Black Lives Matter” movement to be a legacy of “hope and unity”? Or perhaps President Obama’s signature accomplishment, the Affordable Care Act — better known as “Obamacare” — which remains divisive and unpopular?

James discussed education in the Akron area. With the LeBron James Family Foundation, “we give kids in Akron the resources and opportunities they need to stay in school and reach their dreams through education.”

The NBA star said that Clinton has the same commitment to education. “Like my foundation, Hillary has always been a champion for children and their families. For over 40 years, she’s been working to improve public schools, expand access to health care, support children’s hospitals, and so much more,” he wrote.

“She wants to make sure kids have access to a good education, no matter what zip code they live in,” James added. Wait, isn’t school choice a Republican issue? Does James know that Clinton opposes school choice?

Never mind, at least “she’ll rebuild schools that are falling apart and put more money into computer science. She’ll make sure teachers are paid what they deserve so they can give everything to their students.” In other words, she’ll pour even more money into the failing system, and make it harder to reward good teachers and hold bad teachers accountable.

Finally, James lists Clinton’s “plants to make college a reality for more people in America, especially for those who can’t afford it. My kids in Akron are proof of the hope and motivation that come from knowing college can be in their future, no matter what obstacles they might be facing.”

What Senator Bernie Sanders started by promising “free” college, Clinton continued by offering to prop up the college racket with even more federal dollars. Higher education does offer hope and opportunity, but federal dollars enable tuition hikes. Ironically, non-profits like the LeBron James Family Foundation show that America’s robust philanthropic sector can boost the aspirations of many, and thousands of grants and scholarships exist outside of the federal government to help the less fortunate afford an education.

Next Page: Why Clinton is not really a “uniter.”

At the end of his article, James declared, “we must address the violence, of every kind, the African-American community is experiencing in our streets and seeing on our TVs.” He admitted that he is not a politician, and doesn’t “know everything it will take finally to end the violence, but I do know we need a president who brings us together and keeps us unified.”

Does Clinton’s support for “Black Lives Matter” and apparent snub of law enforcement unify America on race? Republican nominee Donald Trump has emphasized the importance of law and order and has attempted to reach out to the black community, but neither candidate fully represents the kind of unity the NBA star called for.

Clinton’s campaign has been divisive from the start, when she identified “Republicans” as her “enemy” during the first Democratic debate. Then came the “basket of deplorables,” the “basement dwellers,” and doubtless many more. There’s a reason 54 percent of Americans view Clinton unfavorably (compared to 43 percent who view her favorably), according to the RealClearPolitics average. (Trump’s 58.1 percent unfavorable is also nothing to boast about, however.)

James’ implicit rejection of Trump serves as a reminder that Americans do indeed see him as a divider, but his suggestion that Clinton represents unity is a mere repeat of her talking points. Whether on Obamacare, school choice, or “Black Lives Matter,” her campaign does not represent a consensus position. Indeed, she is running on a liberal Democrat Party platform hailed as the “most progressive in history.” Does that sound like unity to you?

Nevertheless, James’ endorsement may carry weight in his home state of Ohio. In this crucial swing state, Trump leads Clinton by only 1.8 percent, according to the RealClearPolitics average. Trump currently has 44.5 percent to Clinton’s 42.7 percent. If the NBA star’s endorsement carries weight in Ohio, it could help the Democrat carry this crucial state.