Mon, Oct 02, 2017 - Page 11 News List

Cavs owner gets ‘vile’ voicemails after ‘bum’ tweet

AP, CLEVELAND, Ohio

Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert received “vile, disgusting” voicemails after LeBron James called US President Donald Trump a “bum” on Twitter.

Gilbert said he was flooded with telephone messages when the NBA’s most-celebrated player criticized Trump for rescinding a White House invitation to Golden State’s Stephen Curry to honor the team’s NBA championship.

“I received voicemails after LeBron tweeted that were some of the most vile, disgusting, racist,” Gilbert said on Friday on CNBC’s Squawk Box. “There’s an element of racism that I didn’t even realize existed in this country this much.”

Gilbert said he had not told James about the voicemails. He called the comments unnerving.

“And you could hear it in their voice — the racism,” Gilbert said. “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.”

James said he did not regret his comment about Trump.

“Me and my friends call me that all the time,” James told a news conference.

James also commended NFL players for protesting after Trump said that owners should fire any players who kneel during the national anthem.

Gilbert has ties to Trump from his Quicken Loans mortgage lending company donating US$750,000 to his inauguration party, but Gilbert said in a statement this week that he supports both political parties.

“Our interests are in the policies at the federal level and not the politics surrounding the elections,” he said. “We have often supported both political parties in the same election so that we have the ability to impact positive change, regardless of who occupies the offices.”

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