Cleveland Cavaliers All-Star player LeBron James said that he does not support Donald Trump’s immigration orders banning travelers from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the U.S., which complicates the already-difficult path for refugees trying to enter.
The Hollywood Reporter said that James said he rejects the Muslim ban and “any policy that divides and excludes people.”
“I am not in favor of this policy or any policy that divides and excludes people,” said James during his acceptance speech for the NAACP’s Jackie Robinson Award on Feb. 1. “I stand with the many Americans who believe this does not represent what the United States is all about. And we should continue to speak out about it.”
James was presented with the award at center court in the Cleveland Cavaliers’ Quicken Loans Arena. The NAACP bestowed the honor on James, the Reporter said, “for his philanthropic efforts and his dedication to inspiring young people, including through his growing Hollywood portfolio.”
“Diversity is what makes this country so great,” James said in protest of Trump’s anti-Muslim executive order, which was struck down by a Washington federal judge last week. The Trump team, however, has vowed to pursue the matter all the way up through the U.S. Supreme Court.
“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 said.
“We all have a voice,” he continued, praising barrier-smashing sports figures like Muhammed Ali and Jim Brown. “I’ve got a long way to go to have the kind of impact these great leaders have been able to have. I hope to continue building on the legacy they started.”
The LeBron James Family foundation has awarded college scholarships to thousands of students in James’ home town of Akron. In November, James gave $2.5 million to the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History to help produce an exhibition of art honoring Muhammed Ali.
James wore a Black Lives Matter T-shirt during his acceptance speech. He has been active in the movement against police brutality toward black Americans and championed the family of New Yorker Eric Gardner who was strangled to death by New York City Police Department officers for selling unlicensed cigarettes on the street.