Huffpost Sports
The Blog

Featuring fresh takes and real-time analysis from HuffPost's signature lineup of contributors

Dexter Rogers Headshot

President Obama Urges Athletes to Use Platforms and Become Politcally Active

Posted: Updated:
Print Article

President Obama took a break from being slammed by Rand Paul, the oil spill, and speaking at West Point to give his thoughts on the most coveted free agent in recent history, Lebron James.

President Obama was interviewed recently by TNT Sportscaster Marv Albert. When asked by Albert about the possibility of James joining his beloved Chicago Bulls the President stated, "You know, like I said, I don't want to meddle. I will say this, [Derrick] Rose, [Joakim] Noah, it's a pretty good core. You know, you could see LeBron fitting in pretty well." Who knows where James will land. But when you have the President of the United States making a suggestion I would think it would have to carry some weight. President Obama also weighed in on how James should weigh his options. He stated:

I think that the most important thing for LeBron [James] right now is actually to find a structure where he's got a coach that he respects and is working hard with teammates who care about him and if that's in Cleveland, then he should stay in Cleveland. If he doesn't feel like he can get it there, then someplace else.


My take is LeBron should get some players around him. Firing Mike James won't solve the problem.

Also, the Cavaliers can open up the pocket book more than other suitors. Doesn't it make sense to get better players, make 30-million more than what any other team can pay, and possibly win a championship in Cleveland?

Anyway, back to Albert's interview.

A more telling part of Albert's interview with President Obama was when he asked whether sports organizations and athletes should use their platforms to speak out on controversial issues like the recent passage of Senate Bill 1070. President Obama stated: "I think that just because somebody's a sports figure or you've got a sports team doesn't mean that you're not part of the community and you're not part of our democracy. I think it's terrific that the Suns, who obviously feel very strongly about their community, recognize that a big part of their community felt threatened by this new law."

President Obama continued:

You know, when I was growing up, you had figures like Arthur Ashe and Bill Russell who routinely would talk about the world around them. You wouldn't always agree with them, but that sense that people are engaged in the big issues of the day, I think, is a positive thing. I don't think that either players or franchises need to always steer away from controversy. I happen to personally think that the Arizona Law is a bad idea, I've said so publicly, and I see no reason why these guys can't make the same statement.

It was quite refreshing to see President Obama weigh in on a topic many athletes fear. All professional athletes stand on the shoulders of many past pioneers who made sacrifices to make this country better and open doors in American sports.

Hopefully President Obama himself will take more stands. To date he's steered clear of issues involving the African-American community. Perhaps he'll utilize his platform to make more of a difference where it's clearly needed.

I've long urged African-American athletes to take stands. Jackie Robinson helped open doors so African-Americans can play. Curt Flood sacrificed his career so athletes can get paid, and Muhammad Ali stood tall as a man and demanded to be treated as such.

You hear me LeBron James?

It's nice President Obama knows something about sports and on some level can play them. It was great to see him take a break from the rigors of running the country. But now it's back to work -- getting the country back in order from the incompetent leadership of George W. Bush.

From Our Partners