A “Morning Joe” panel on Monday took a hammer to President Donald Trump’s recent attacks on basketball star LeBron James by noting it fits a pattern of Trump targeting black athletes for scorn and derision.
Reacting to Trump calling James “stupid” over the weekend on Twitter, co-host Joe Scarborough said Trump sounded like “an old, grumpy, white racist grandpa in Queens or Alabama yelling at his TV, saying, ‘This black man is stupid, that black man is stupid!'”
Scarborough went on to say that Trump’s attacks on James were part of a pattern in which he would bait black athletes as part of a broader strategy to fire up his political base.
“It’s his strategy,” he said. “It’s what Donald Trump thinks. He told his staff members, basically attacking black athletes, that’s really good for me, that’s really good politically going into the midterms.”
Princeton professor Eddie Glaude Jr. agreed with Scarborough’s assessment and noted that Trump last year called NFL players who knelt during the national anthem “sons of b*tches.”
Glaude said that a quick comparison between Trump’s character and James’, however, revealed that the two men could not be more different.
“The irony is this is the man who founded Trump University, this fraudulent thing,” he said. “Here is LeBron James opening up a public school in Cleveland. You couldn’t get a better contrast of moral human beings.”
Panelist John Heilemann summed up Trump’s position on black athletes bluntly: “If you’re black, the president takes a crap all over you.”