Trump uses sports 'to divide,' LeBron James said. He makes an excellent point.

While discussing his newly opened school in Ohio, LeBron James voiced an interesting observation about the president.

Donald Trump intentionally uses sports to exploit our differences, the basketball star said. And that's something he just can't get behind.

"What I've noticed over the past few months," James told CNN, "is [that Trump's] kind of using sports to kind of divide us."


He explained to Don Lemon that he believes Trump is politicizing athletics for personal gain and targeting athletes of color, like Colin Kaepernick and Steph Curry, who use their platforms to speak out.

"That's something that I can't relate to," James said of Trump's divisiveness, "because I know sports was the first time I was ever around someone white."

Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images.

He continued:

"I got an opportunity to see them and learn about them, and they got the opportunity to learn about me, and we became very good friends. And I was like, 'Oh wow, this is all because of sports.' Sports has never been something that divides people, it's always been something that brings [people] together."

One way sports have helped James bring people together is through the I Promise School, an ambitious new project benefiting the kids in his hometown of Akron, Ohio.

This brand-new, certified-STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) public elementary school created by the LeBron James Family Foundation is far from the typical academic institution.

Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images.

Teaming up with Akron Public Schools, I Promise serves at-risk kids who were randomly selected from a pool of local students who'd fallen behind their reading level. I Promise implements longer school days to help kids academically, offering a variety of extracurriculars — like art, gym, and music — on top of more standard courses, like math, science, and reading.

Right now, about 240 kids in third and fourth grade are enrolled, James told CNN. But by 2022, the school will be open to first to eighth graders.

That's not all, though.

A collection of James' old shoes line the wall at I Promise. Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images.

I Promise benefits not just its students, but their families, too.

The school offers a food bank to make sure students — and their parents and siblings — are well-fed. Its job placement and GED programs help parents find work and get an education themselves.

"We are letting people know that it is about true wraparound support," Principal Brandi Davis told the Los Angeles Times. "True family integration, true compassion."

Each student gets a bike, too — a nod to James' own upbringing, when he used a bike to pass through dangerous neighborhoods quickly. "I wanted to keep it as consistent and as authentic to when I was a kid," James said.

Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images.

To make sure teachers are well-equipped, staff can access psychological training to help kids struggling with stress outside the classroom. And every Wednesday, they can take part in career development services as well.

Not every student at I Promise will be an athlete, of course — but that's hardly the expectation, according to James.

He just hopes every kid will "come away with something" and know the world has a place for them in it.

"For kids, in general, all they want to know is that someone cares," James said. "And when they walk through that door, I hope they know that someone cares."

Be it on the basketball court or in the classroom, James is living proof that sports can be a catalyst that brings communities together — not used as a political talking point intended to divide.

I Promise could teach the president a thing or two, it seems.

Watch James' full interview with Lemon below:

Courtesy of Verizon
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If someone were to say "video games" to you, what are the first words that come to mind? Whatever words you thought of (fun, exciting, etc.), we're willing to guess "healthy" or "mental health tool" didn't pop into your mind.

And yet… it turns out they are. Especially for Veterans.

How? Well, for one thing, video games — and virtual reality more generally — are also more accessible and less stigmatized to veterans than mental health treatment. In fact, some psychiatrists are using virtual reality systems for this reason to treat PTSD.

Secondly, video games allow people to socialize in new ways with people who share common interests and goals. And for Veterans, many of whom leave the military feeling isolated or lonely after they lose the daily camaraderie of their regiment, that socialization is critical to their mental health. It gives them a virtual group of friends to talk with, connect to, and relate to through shared goals and interests.

In addition, according to a 2018 study, since many video games simulate real-life situations they encountered during their service, it makes socialization easier since they can relate to and find common ground with other gamers while playing.

This can help ease symptoms of depression, anxiety, and even PTSD in Veterans, which affects 20% of the Veterans who have served since 9/11.

Watch here as Verizon dives into the stories of three Veteran gamers to learn how video games helped them build community, deal with trauma and have some fun.

Band of Gamers www.youtube.com

Video games have been especially beneficial to Veterans since the beginning of the pandemic when all of us — Veterans included — have been even more isolated than ever before.

And that's why Verizon launched a challenge last year, which saw $30,000 donated to four military charities.

And this year, they're going even bigger by launching a new World of Warships charity tournament in partnership with Wargaming and Wounded Warrior Project called "Verizon Warrior Series." During the tournament, gamers will be able to interact with the game's iconic ships in new and exciting ways, all while giving back.

Together with these nonprofits, the tournament will welcome teams all across the nation in order to raise money for military charities helping Veterans in need. There will be a $100,000 prize pool donated to these charities, as well as donation drives for injured Veterans at every match during the tournament to raise extra funds.

Verizon is also providing special discounts to Those Who Serve communities, including military and first responders, and they're offering a $75 in-game content military promo for World of Warships.

Tournament finals are scheduled for August 8, so be sure to tune in to the tournament and donate if you can in order to give back to Veterans in need.

Courtesy of Verizon

via @Todd_Spence / Twitter

Seven years ago, Bill Murray shared a powerful story about the importance of art. The revelation came during a discussion at the National Gallery in London for the release of 2014's "The Monuments Men." The film is about a troop of soldiers on a mission to recover art stolen by the Nazis.

After his first time performing on stage in Chicago, Murray was so upset with himself that he contemplated taking his own life.

"I wasn't very good, and I remember my first experience, I was so bad I just walked out — out onto the street and just started walking," he said.

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