LeBron James Praises Adam Silver, Calls Out NFL for Not Apologizing to Colin Kaepernick

Jordan Cohn
June 25, 2020 - 7:10 am
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LeBron's voice has been heard loudly and clearly throughout the world on issues involving race, equality and more over his whole career, with an emphasis on recent months. And there's a reason for that.

It obviously helps being the greatest basketball player in the world for a long stretch of time. But he has also committed himself to causes that he believes in deeply and he has gone out of his way to make his thoughts known. Several star athletes have a sizable platform upon which to speak, given their talent and ability, but only some use it to the same extent as LeBron. One initiative that stands out as of late is his organization "More Than a Vote," which aims to call out voter suppression and protect the voting rights of African-American citizens. Among the athletes involved in More Than a Vote include Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young, WNBA star Skylar Diggins-Smith and ESPN NBA analyst and former player Jalen Rose.

But LeBron doesn't take all the credit himself. He also praised NBA commissioner Adam Silver with running a strong league and supporting his players.

In a Zoom interview with Jason Kelly of Bloomberg Businessweek, the Lakers star complimented Silver "for encouraging players to speak up and for using 'the NBA shield to back us.' "

Silver recently spoke on how the NBA restart in Disney will act as an opportunity to continue supporting the fight against racism and social issues that has taken hold of our nation. While some players, like Kyrie Irving, have expressed concern that the resumption of basketball will take away from the protest efforts, Silver sees it differently, with the support of several players.

“The league and the players are uniquely positioned to have a direct impact on combating systemic racism in our country, and we are committed to collective action to build a more equal and just society,” said Silver in a release on the league's social justice efforts. “A shared goal of our season restart will be to use our platform in Orlando to bring attention to these important issues of social justice."

James will partake in the NBA restart and it's not hard to see the influence of his decision. At least one player has acknowledged his influence, although in a snarky way that doesn't necessarily view this as a positive.

LeBron spoke not only of Silver and how the NBA has gone about acknowledging and supporting social protest efforts, but also of how the NFL has gone about the matter. He was much more critical of that league's efforts.

Answering Kelly's question about the NFL's treatment of Colin Kaepernick, LeBron said, “We have not heard that official apology to a man who basically sacrificed everything for the better of this world.” This isn't the first time that James has shown his support for the former 49ers quarterback, perhaps most notably doing so on HBO's "The Shop" in 2019.

LeBron's new media company, the focus of Kelly's interview and article on Bloomberg, will aim to serve a similar function as "The Shop." SpringHill Co., founded by James and Maverick Carter, received a $100 million investment and will use the money to expand its platform and achieve its goal of "giv(ing) a voice to creators and consumers who've been pandered to, ignored, or underserved."

Kelly shares that the company's board of investors that helped to raise that huge amount of money includes Guggenheim Partners LLC, News Corp. heir Elisabeth Murdoch, SC. Holdings' Jason Stein, tennis star Serena Williams and Red Sox Chairman Tom Werner, among others. The company is comprised of formerly separate entities, including the production company Uninterrupted.

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