Dan Gilbert says he received racists voicemails from those angry at LeBron James’ tweet towards Donald Trump.
Dan Gilbert had nothing to do with this tweet sent out by LeBron James on Sep. 23, but the Cleveland Cavaliers owner received plenty of backlash from the tweet by his star player.
James sent out a tweet in regards to players visiting the White House, and President Donald Trump’s assertion that the world champion Golden State Warriors had their invite rescinded.
The Cleveland Cavaliers star let everyone know how he felt about what he believed was once an honor, and how President Trump has lessened that in his eyes.
Speaking to CNBC’s Squawk Box (via ESPN), Gilbert had the following to say:
“I received voicemails after LeBron tweeted that were some of the most vile, disgusting, racist [messages]. There’s an element of racism that I didn’t even realize existed in this country this much. The thing is, I mean, some of the most disgusting things I’ve ever heard people say. And you could hear it in their voice — the racism. It wasn’t even really about the issue, and that’s what really got me, because they went to who they really are, some of them.”
Back in June, Trump called Gilbert a “great friend” and “huge supporter” thanks in part to Gilbert’s company, Quicken Loans, donating $750,000 to Trump’s inauguration party.
Gilbert clarified his stance when it comes to Trump, noting that he only cares about policies on a federal level and not the politics surrounding the election. Gilbert also donated to the campaigns for Hilary Clinton and Chris Christie, both of whom opposed Trump during the election process.
When it comes to James, or any other athlete not sticking to sports, Gilbert backs them 100 percent.
“Professional athletes, owners and the leagues themselves, as well as the country, would greatly benefit from an open, inclusive dialogue that would allow the expression of all views and concerns that have recently become hot topics in professional sports.”
The relationship between James and Gilbert has been icy over the years, but it looks like things are beginning to thaw in Cleveland. Meanwhile, it’s just heating up in sports and politics.