Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell stepped into a national political fray Saturday morning, defending LeBron James after President Donald Trump called James dumb on Twitter.
Late Friday, Trump attacked James and CNN broadcaster Don Lemon, tweeting:
“Lebron James was just interviewed by the dumbest man on television, Don Lemon. He made Lebron look smart, which isn’t easy to do. I like Mike!”
James had criticized Trump as racially insensitive in a Monday interview with Lemon, in which James announced he was opening a school for at-risk children in his hometown of Akron, Ohio.
Mitchell retweeted Trump's message, replying:
“A sign of an insecure human being is one who attacks others to make themselves feel better... im just sad that young kids have to see stupid tweets like these and grow up thinking it’s okay... forget everything else Donald your setting a bad example for kids [emoji] our future [emoji]”
A sign of an insecure human being is one who attacks others to make themselves feel better... im just sad that young kids have to see stupid tweets like these and grow up thinking it’s okay... forget everything else Donald your setting a bad example for kids😑 our future 🤡 https://t.co/eg0MECg8xC— Donovan Mitchell (@spidadmitchell) August 4, 2018
Critics joined Mitchell in defense of James and Lemon — both of whom are black.
"There’s a lot of insults the president could have hurled at LeBron and Don Lemon, but it says something that the president openly questioned their intelligence. Gee, wonder why," wrote sports journalist Jemele Hill.
“I’m sure it’s just a coincidence that Trump thinks African-Americans are dumb,” Tweeted political writer Max Boot.
“Who’s the real dummy? A man who puts kids in classrooms or one who puts kids in cages?” followed by the
#BeBest hashtag, in reference to First Lady Melania Trump’s campaign discussing children’s well-being.
Other NBA players came to James' defense.
“So let me get this straight: Flint, MI has dirty water still, but you worried about an interview about a man doing good for education and generations of kids in his hometown? Shut your damn mouth! Stop using them twitter fingers and get stuff done for our country with that pen,” wrote Karl-Anthony Towns of the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Anthony Tollivar, Towns' teammate, tweeted:
“I’ve been silent about ALL of the DUMB stuff this man has tweeted but THIS is attacking the NBA brotherhood and I’m not rollin'! What an embarrassment...”
The Washington Wizards' Bradley Beal wrote simply:
“Tired of you!”