LeBron James and Steph Curry are both speaking out against President Donald Trump and some of the policies he has sought to enact in his first few weeks in office.
The NBA’s two biggest stars have joined the growing chorus of Americans speaking out against the travel ban the new Republican president recently enacted in a flurry of sweeping executive actions he authored.
“Diversity is what makes this country so great,” James told The Hollywood Reporter in response to Trump banning travelers from seven mostly Muslim nations from entering the U.S.
“We should all continue to speak up and fight for ideas that bring people together regardless of race, gender, ethnicity, religious beliefs or any other differences,” he added. “I am not in favor of this policy or any policy that divides and excludes people. I stand with the many, many Americans who believe this does not represent what the United States is all about.”
Curry’s criticism of the new president was a little more indirect while being just as direct.
As the biggest spokesperson for the Under Armour brand, the two-time reigning league MVP sharply disagreed with CEO Kevin Plank’s recent assessment where he branded Trump a “real asset for the country.”
Curry reportedly told the San Jose Mercury News he agreed with that evaluation, but only if you removed “ET from asset.”
Soon after Curry’s sentiments became public, a cry went out on social media for a boycott of the whole company.
ESPN reported in the days before a federal judge ruled the ban unconstitutional, the NBA officially reached out to the State Department for greater clarity about the hastily announced enactment.
NBA teams currently include two Sudanese-born players on their rosters, not to mention the countless number of Muslim employees working in NBA offices across the country.
L.A. Lakers veteran forward Luol Deng, one of the league’s two Sudanese players, expressed he’s a “proud refugee” and encouraged people to educate themselves about the vetting process already in place before Trump took action. Muslim Nets forward Rondae Hollis-Jefferson simply referred to the ban as “B.S. at the end of the day,” while Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr, whose father was killed by the Islamic Jihad Organization while living in the Middle East, added “If anything, we could be breeding anger and terror, so I’m completely against what’s happening.”
Still, as per Trump’s order, Justice Department lawyers are now appealing the decision and the case could ultimately find its way to the U.S. Supreme Court.
“It’s important that we as athletes continue to use the platform we have to speak up for what we believe in,” added James, who openly supported Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton in her run against Trump and recently donated $2.5 million for a Muhammad Ali exhibit at the National Museum of African American History and Culture at the Smithsonian.
Meanwhile, Curry indicated he had spent hours on the phone talking with Plank and others in the Under Armour camp to make sure they are all still on the same page.
“Based off the release that KP sent out this morning and what he told me last night, that’s the Under Armour that I know,” he said. That’s the brand I know he’s built and one that, as of Wednesday afternoon, is something that I’m standing on.”
Still, Curry insisted if he ever reaches a point where he feels like things have genuinely changed, and he and the company no longer see eye to eye on matters of importance to him, he won’t hesitate to disassociate himself.
“If I can say the leadership is not in line with my core values, then there is no amount of money, there is no platform I wouldn’t jump off if it wasn’t in line with who I am,” he said.
[Featured Image by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images]