In a Monday press conference, the NBA star discussed King’s memory and how America can’t let itself be divided by racism.
“You know, the state of racism will never die, but what we cannot do is allow it to conquer us as people,” he said. “We can’t allow it to divide us.”
James also called out “the leader of our country” for stoking racism, without naming President Donald Trump directly:
“The guy in control has given people and racism, and negative racism, an opportunity to be out and outspoken without fear,” James said. “And that’s the fearful thing for us, because it’s with you, and it’s around every day, but [Trump] has allowed people to just come out and feel confident about doing negative things.”
James also said that citizens have a duty to make things better.
“We all have to continue to come together and shine a brighter light on — I don’t want to use the word stupidity, but that’s basically what it comes down to.”
“We can’t allow that to stop us from continuing to be together and preach the right word of living and loving and laughing and things of that nature. Because would we want to live anywhere else? I don’t think so. We love this place.”
The NBA is playing 11 games on Monday, and James said he believes it’s a worthy tribute to the national holiday.
“[King] actually gave up his life for the betterment of all of us to be able to live in a free world and for us to be able to have a voice, for us to go out and be free no matter your skin color, no matter who you are,” James said, later adding, “He took a bullet for all of us.”