After Trump Attacked LeBron James On Twitter, The Athlete Received Some Unexpected Praise

"It looks like LeBron James is working to do good things."

Over the weekend, NBA star LeBron James received support from fans and fellow athletes after President Donald Trump posted a nasty tweet about him. However, one statement of praise came from an unlikely source — First Lady Melania Trump.

It started when James spoke to CNN's Don Lemon about opening the I Promise School for at-risk youth in his hometown of Akron, Ohio. According to the Washington Post, he also spoke about Trump, sharing his belief that the president has "used sport to kind of divide us," referring to his ongoing criticism of NFL players who kneel during the national anthem.

On Friday, Trump responded to the interview by calling Lemon "the dumbest man on television" and adding, "He made Lebron [sic] look smart, which isn't easy to do." Then, in an apparent reference to basketball legend Michael Jordan, Trump added, "I like Mike!"

According to CNN, Jordan said in a statement through his spokesperson, "I support LeBron James. He's doing an amazing job for his community." Don Lemon also responded to the tweet, asking, "Who's the real dummy? A man who puts kids in classrooms or one who puts kids in cages?" He added the hashtag #BeBest, a reference to Melania Trump's anti-bullying initiative.

Many have criticized the first lady for touting a platform to fight cyberbulling while her husband continuously attacks those who disagree with him on Twitter. However, on Saturday she seemed to break with President Trump's comments, as her spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham released a statement praising James' work.

"It looks like LeBron James is working to do good things on behalf of our next generation," Grisham said. "And just as she always has, the First Lady encourages everyone to have an open dialogue about issues facing children today."

According to the Washington Post, she also said that Mrs. Trump supports "responsible online behavior," and would be "open" to visiting the I Promise School. A White House source later told ABC News of the first lady's comments, "That wasn't her taking sides — that was her office stick [sic] to what she is focused on, which is using Be Best for what it's intended — to help children."

James, meanwhile, hasn't addressed the president's comments. On Saturday morning, he retweeted photos of smiling students from the I Promise School account, writing, "Let's get it kids!! Love you guys."

The LeBron James Family Foundation partnered with Akron Public Schools to open the school, where 240 third- and fourth-graders started class this past week. The school provides services to help both students and parents, including a food pantry and a summer camp to keep kids out of trouble. The school also provides the teachers with supplies so they don't have to pay for them out of their own pockets.

Earlier this year, Fox News host Laura Ingraham criticized James for speaking about politics, telling him to "shut up and dribble." He responded by saying he would continue to speak out about issues that matter to him, and corrected her false assumption that he didn't graduate high school. "I think I've defeated the odds," he said, and I want every kid to know that, and I want everybody to know that the youth, they can do it as well."

Cover image: Jamie Lamor Thompson / MediaPictures.pl / Shutterstock.com

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