It’s official: LeBron James, the most popular and highest paid athlete in America, is #WithHer.
In an editorial for Business Insider, James finally threw his hat into the 2016 presidential race with a ringing endorsement of Hillary Clinton. That in itself is not shocking; James is a noted Democrat, and he has rarely been shy about speaking out on social or political issues.
However, the reasons he cites for supporting Clinton differ from many of the other high-profile endorsements she has received lately. That’s because it has nothing to do with the groundbreaking nature of her gender or the 3 a.m. tweets of her opponent; rather, James is backing Clinton because of her policies.
“She wants to make sure kids have access to a good education, no matter what zip code they live in.”
The Cleveland Cavalier — who founded the LeBron James Family Foundation to help provide opportunities for children from low-income families in his hometown of Akron, Ohio — says Clinton is the only candidate who “truly understands the struggles of an Akron child born into poverty.”
In short, Clinton’s focus on gun control, improving race relations, and making education more available to everyone hit home for James.
She wants to make sure kids have access to a good education, no matter what zip code they live in. 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.
She also has plans 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.
Finally, we must address the violence, of every kind, the African-American community is experiencing in our streets and seeing on our TVs. I believe rebuilding our communities by focusing on at-risk children is a significant part of the solution.
His endorsement never even mentions the name of her opponent, Donald Trump. However, he does allude to the Republican nominee’s divisive rhetoric.
“…I do know we need a president who brings us together and keeps us unified,” he wrote. “Policies and ideas that divide us more are not the solution.”
While Trump has yet to comment on the endorsement, his rich Twitter history does prove that he’s a huge fan of James, and has repeatedly called the superstar a “great guy.”
Celebrity endorsements are usually more about style than substance, but few people carry the amount of clout in their home state that James does. He’s not just an athlete, he’s an icon.
Therefore, his endorsement of Clinton could be pretty significant considering Ohio is a key battleground state, and recent polls from the state have shown Trump with a slight lead.
“We must all stand together — no matter where we are from or the color of our skin,” James said. “And Hillary is running on the message of hope and unity that we need.”