Melania Trump isn’t on her husband’s side in his personal battle with LeBron James. Only hours after Donald Trump attacked James on Twitter, deriding his intelligence, the First Lady released a statement through her spokesperson, heaping praise on LeBron and his current activism. She’s not LeBron’s only staunch supporter — the basketball star Trump says he likes instead of James is also weighing in, and expressing support for his fellow athlete, and the right to protest.
Earlier this week, LeBron James spoke to CNN‘s Don Lemon about racism, America, and Trump. He said that Trump is using sports to divide Americans, and expressed a distaste for that method, instead suggesting sports should be one of the things that bring people together.
Following the interview on Friday evening, Trump sent out a tweet attacking the intelligence of interviewer and subject alike, saying that Don Lemon is the dumbest man on TV and that it’s not easy to make LeBron James look smart. He added a closer that was perhaps intended to be a biting comparison — “I like Mike!”
Lebron James was just interviewed by the dumbest man on television, Don Lemon. He made Lebron look smart, which isn’t easy to do. I like Mike!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 4, 2018
This wasn’t one of Trump’s best-timed tweets. LeBron just opened a school in Akron, Ohio, that will help at-risk students benefit from some of the privileges that other kids know, including, according to Time, a free bicycle provided to help the child explore other neighborhoods, free meals, snacks and drinks, access to a fitness trainer, and college tuition for every graduate — as well as GED classes and job placement for parents of students.
— I PROMISE School (@IPROMISESchool) July 30, 2018
In fact, apparently, even Melania thought the sentiment was inappropriate. According to TMZ, she released a statement praising LeBron for his philanthropy and support of students in need.
It looks like LeBron James is working to do good things on behalf of our next generation.
She even expressed an interest in visiting LeBron’s school as part of her ‘Be Best’ program.
She wasn’t the only one to defy the president in her response. If Trump thought Michael Jordan would be excited to be named as the basketball player preferred by the POTUS (or, perhaps, the only other player whose name Trump could remember) and throw some accolades back Trump’s way, he missed his guess. Instead, Bleacher Report shares that Jordan has also issued a statement in support of his fellow athlete.
I support LJ. He’s doing an amazing job for his community.
Donald Trump may have picked on the wrong athlete this time. It’s clear people have LeBron James’ back — even Melania Trump defied her husband to express her support for the would-be subject of his bully tweets.