LeBron James dons ‘Beto for Senate’ hat before Lakers game in San Antonio

The superstar continues to be an unabashed political influencer off the court

(Photo by Loren Elliott/Getty Images)


LeBron James is a force on the basketball court but is an even greater one off of it. He doesn’t shy away from speaking his mind, addressing everything from racial injustices to attacks from President Trump, showing he won’t be bullied or silenced or made to “shut up and dribble.”

The latest example? Yesterday, James proudly strutted into San Antonio wearing a black and white “Beto for Senate” hat. Beto O’Rourke is challenging right winger Ted Cruz for a Senate seat in Texas, a hotly contested race that, if Democrats flip, could contribute to them controlling the Senate.

This summer, James shared to his Twitter feed a video of O’Rourke supporting an athlete’s right to kneel during the national anthem – an issue sparked by former NFL quarterback, Colin Kaepernick and other players who began kneeling to protest police brutality. “I can think of nothing more American, than to peacefully stand up or take a knee for your rights, anytime, anywhere, any place.” O’Rourke says in the video.

James responded by posting: “A Must Watch!!! Salute @BetoORourke for the candid thoughtful words.”

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The Lakers star has repeatedly condemned tweets and actions by Trump, who insulted James’ intelligence on Twitter after James told Don Lemon that Trump uses sports to divide people.

Indicating the importance of the Senate seat, Trump has been campaigning for Ted Cruz, despite insulting the long-time Texas senator and members of his family during the 2016 presidential campaign, according to the New York Daily News. Trump coined the term “Lyin’ Ted” during the campaign, insinuated that Cruz’s father was associated with Lee Harvey Oswald and tweeted an unflattering picture of Heidi Cruz, Ted’s wife.

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Now, proving the old adage that politics is like watching sausage being made, Trump is stumping for Cruz. At a rally last week, Trump mocked O’Rourke.

“Ted’s opponent in this race is a stone cold phony named Robert Francis O’Rourke,” Trump said, according to the New York Daily News, neglecting to also call out Cruz’s real government name, Rafael Edward.

Although James can’t vote in the Texas Senate race because he lives in California, his public support of O’Rourke could potentially sway voters his way.