LeBron James led his Cleveland Cavaliers to a 106-99 road victory over the Washington Wizards on Sunday, but the "equality" shoes he wore in the nation's capital and postgame comments stood out more than the regular-season result.
B/R Kicks @br_kicks
LeBron James in the “Equality” Nike LeBron 15 PE tonight vs. Washington https://t.co/Nn9n6TU4Ax2017-12-17 23:33:02
"Well, being, obviously we all know where we are, and we know who is at the helm here," he said, via Tim Bontemps of the Washington Post.
"Us as Americans, no matter the skin color, no matter the race, no matter who you are, I think we all have to understand that having equal rights and being able to stand for something and speak for something and keeping the conversation going. Obviously I've been very outspoken and well spoken about the situation that's going on at the helm here, and we're not going to let one person dictate us, us as Americans, how beautiful and how powerful we are as a people. Equality is all about understanding our rights, understanding what we stand for and how powerful we are as men and women, black or white or Hispanic. It doesn't matter your race, whatever the case may be, this is a beautiful country and we're never going to let one person dictate how beautiful and how powerful we are."
It is not much of a stretch to assume James was talking about the sitting president given his previous criticism of Donald Trump and the location of Sunday's contest.
James deemed Trump the "so-called president" during a charity event in August, per Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com, and turned heads in September when he called Trump a "bum" on Twitter after the former host of The Apprentice said Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry was no longer invited to the White House to celebrate his team's championship.
James pointed out Curry already said he wasn't planning on attending anyway and added "going to White House was a great honor until you showed up!"
The four-time MVP also said, per Dave McMenamin of ESPN, "The people run this country. Not one individual. And damn sure not him."
He also said he didn't see anything positive about Trump being in the White House in an October interview with Mark Anthony Green of GQ.
While James' message was poignant and clear after the game, he impressed on the floor Sunday as well. He finished with a triple-double, posting 20 points, 15 assists and 12 rebounds as Cleveland improved to 23-8 on the season.