LeBron James opens a school for at-risk children.
Earlier this week it was announced that NBA superstar LeBron James opened a public school for at-risk children in his hometown of Akron, Ohio. The $8 million dollar "I Promise School" will enroll 240 kids from the local community this year. In its current form the school will only start with 3rd & 4th graders with plans to expand to grades 1st through 8th by the year 2022.
While opening a public school is a first for LeBron James, philanthropic endeavors are not. He has used his LeBron James Family Foundation to help support families in need for years. Many sports fans will recall the televised event "The Decision" when he publicly announced on ESPN that he would be joining Dwyane Wade & Chris Bosh in Miami. What detractors tend to forget is he used that TV special as an opportunity to raise $3 million for charity.
Some of you at this point may have already scoffed at the news that he has opened a school. Your justification for doing so is probably that many other people have opened schools so what makes him so special. Well let me share with you a few things that make the I Promise School very unique indeed:
- Free tuition for students
- Free breakfast, lunch, and snacks
- Free uniforms
- Free transportation for students living within a 2 mile radius
- A free bicycle and helmet for each student
- Access to a food pantry for the student's families
- Guaranteed tuition for all graduates to the University of Akron
- Parents will get access to job placement services and help acquiring their GEDs
I don't know about you, but I'm not aware of many schools that are doing similar things for families and children in their communities. This type of philanthropic work should be applauded right? The President of the United States of America must appreciate LeBron's efforts right? Donald, a guy who likes winners surely only had praise for King James after the school was announced.
So what does Donald think about it?
Why...? That was my reaction after reading the tweet. What could possibly be the motivation behind this tweet from the President? Is this a strategic move on his part or another head scratching moment highlighting his insecurities?
Is their a possible argument to be made that this is another chess move in the game of politics especially when you consider midterm elections are on the horizon? Is Donald Trump that clever to sacrifice the perception of his character if he feels it will help keep control where needed in government? Was this just another misguided attempt to rally his base?
If I were a betting man I would say no, but I would have also bet against him being where he is today. His strategy seems to consist of attacking anyone who speaks negatively of him and lying until everyone accepts the lie as truth. It's a strategy that has been working no matter how much it pains people to admit it. Maybe Trump decided that LeBron James holds too much influence to let him get away with his disparaging comments made during his CNN interview. Even if each puzzling move is a small stroke of political genius that leaves us all wondering will there be a moment where all of a sudden it becomes too much to accept anymore? Will his untraditional political strategy have the legs to carry him into a second term?
Now with full disclosure this is the side of the fence I'm standing on the majority of the time when it comes to issues with our President. We have witnessed his insecurities before when he made sure to let everyone know on live television that his hands aren't small after Marco Rubio called him out on the campaign trail.
This leads me to believe we are dealing with a similar case. During the interview with CNN LeBron James threw some shade the President's way when he stated his displeasure regarding some of Trump's antics. Nothing Donald hasn't heard a million times already so why the outburst?
What I’ve noticed over the past few months is Trump has kinda used sports to kinda divide us, and that’s something that I can’t relate to. - LeBron james
I think Donald Trump realizes the stakes are a bit different when it's someone of LeBron James stature. He isn't a political pundit sitting behind a desk debating the most recent news. LeBron is the most popular and recognizable athlete in America. His opinion and words hold a lot of weight, which the President is very aware of. Then again I may be giving him too much credit and he is just a sensitive old man who doesn't handle criticism well at all.
In the end its probably a little bit of both. Donald got his feelings hurt, but he also recognizes the importance of countering negative opinions of those held in high regards by our fellow Americans.
Many people including the President's very own wife Melania Trump voiced her support for LeBron James highlighting the positive effect on the children of our country an issue she holds close to her heart. I feel at a time when we should be celebrating this accomplishment to encourage others to follow suit it just highlights the President's shortcomings as a leader.
LeBron James was told to shut up and dribble, but thankfully he has decided to do so much more. I'll leave you with a tweet from Benjamin Watson a NFL player for the New Orleans Saints as it lies closely to my feelings on the matter as well.
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