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Dan Gilbert Received Racist Voicemails After LeBron James Criticized Donald Trump
- Updated: September 30, 2017
After Cleveland Cavaliers superstar forward LeBron James posted a tweet that called President Donald Trump a “bum” last week, Cavs owner Dan Gilbert said his phone was then promptly flooded with racist voicemails.
“I received voicemails after LeBron tweeted that were some of the most vile, disgusting, racist [messages],” Gilbert said Friday as a guest on CNBC’s “Squawk Box.” “There’s an element of racism that I didn’t even realize existed in this country this much.”
Gilbert also stated that he had saved but not yet told James about the voicemails.
The messages left on Gilbert’s phone were in reaction to James’ criticism of Trump last weekend via Twitter after the president retracted his invitation to the defending champion Golden State Warriors to visit the White House.
“The thing is, I mean, some of the most disgusting things I’ve ever heard people say,” Gilbert said. “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.”
Going to the White House is considered a great honor for a championship team.Stephen Curry is hesitating,therefore invitation is withdrawn!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 23, 2017
U bum @StephenCurry30 already said he ain't going! So therefore ain't no invite. Going to White House was a great honor until you showed up!
James further explained his tweet in which he called out Trump at the Cavs’ media day on Monday, while Gilbert said he was proud of the star forward for speaking out to the public about social issues.
“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,” Gilbert said earlier this week in a statement.