Stephen Curry: Donald Trump's LeBron James rhetoric based in 'longstanding racism'

Donald Trump’s tweet last week questioning LeBron James’ intelligence drew widespread condemnation from the NBA community and was even challenged by First Lady Melania Trump.

Stephen Curry: Trump’s rhetoric based in racism

Stephen Curry took part in the initial wave of support for James and provided perhaps the most blunt assessment yet of Trump’s stance during a Tuesday interview ahead of his appearance in this week’s Ellie Mae Classic golf tournament.

“That rhetoric is all based in some longstanding racism in terms of black men with a voice in power,” Curry told The San Jose Mercury News. “Unfortunately, that’s being revealed more and more as the days go on.”

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LeBron James and Stephen Curry's relationship through the years
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LeBron James and Stephen Curry's relationship through the years
CLEVELAND - NOVEMBER 17: LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers battles for the ball with Stephen Curry #30 of the Golden State Warriors on November 17, 2009 at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland Ohio. Cleveland won the game 114-108. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2009 NBAE (Photo by Gregory Shamus/NBAE via Getty Images)
CLEVELAND - NOVEMBER 17: LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers and Stephen Curry #30 of the Golden State Warriors go after a jump ball during the game on November 17, 2009 at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio. The Cavaliers won 114-108. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2009 NBAE (Photo by David Liam Kyle/NBAE via Getty Images)
OAKLAND, CA - JANUARY 11: Stephen Curry #30 of the Golden State Warriors puts up a shot against LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers during the game on January 11, 2010 at Oracle Arena in Oakland, California. The Cavaliers won 117-114. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2010 NBAE (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)
NEW ORLEANS, LA - FEBRUARY 16: LeBron James #6 of the Eastern Conference All-Stars handles the basketball against Stephen Curry #30 of the Western Conference All-Stars during the 2014 NBA All-Star Game as part of the 2014 All-Star Weekend at Smoothie King Center on February 16, 2014 in New Orleans, Louisiana. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2014 NBAE (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 13: LeBron James #23 Cleveland Cavaliers and Stephen Curry #30 Golden State Warriors speak with the kids during the NBA FIT program at the High School of Graphic Communication & Arts on February 13, 2015 in New York, New York NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2015 NBAE (Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 13: LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers and Stephen Curry #30 of the Golden State Warriors participate in NBA Cares/FIT Day of Service at 439 WEST 49th Street during the 2015 NBA All-Star on February 13, 2015 in New York, New York. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2015 NBAE (Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 15: Stephen Curry #30 of the Western Conference handles the ball against LeBron James #23 of the Eastern Conference during the 64th NBA All-Star Game presented by Kia as part of the 2015 All-Star Weekend at Madison Square Garden on February 15, 2015 in New York, New York. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2015 NBAE (Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images)
OAKLAND, CA - JUNE 4: Stephen Curry #30 of the Golden State Warriors shoots against LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers during Game One of the 2015 NBA Finals on June 4, 2015 at Oracle Arena in Oakland, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2015 NBAE (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)
Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors vies for the ball with LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers in overtime during Game 1 of teh 2015 NBA Finals in Oakland, California on June 4, 2015. The Warriors defeated the Cavaliers 108-100. AFP PHOTO / FREDERIC J. BROWN (Photo credit should read FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OH - JUNE 9: Stephen Curry #30 of the Golden State Warriors and LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers look on in Game Three of the 2015 NBA Finals on June 9, 2015 at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland. Ohio. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2015 NBAE (Photo by Garrett Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images)
Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (left) and Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James scramble for a loose ball during the second quarter of game 1 of the NBA Finals on June 2, 2016 in Oakland, California. / AFP / Beck Diefenbach (Photo credit should read BECK DIEFENBACH/AFP/Getty Images)
OAKLAND, CA - JUNE 14: during Stephen Curry #30 of the Golden State Warriors and LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers shake hands before the start of Game Five of the 2015 NBA Finals on June 14, 2015 at Oracle Arena in Oakland, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2015 NBAE (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OH - JUNE 16: Stephen Curry #30 of the Golden State Warriors reacts to a foul call during the fourth quarter as LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers looks on in Game 6 of the 2016 NBA Finals at Quicken Loans Arena on June 16, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
OAKLAND, CA - JUNE 19: Stephen Curry #30 of the Golden State Warriors and LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers during the game in Game Seven of the 2016 NBA Finals on June 19, 2016 at Oracle Arena in Oakland, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2016 NBAE (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)
Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (R) shoots the ball ahead of Cleveland Cavaliers forward Tristan Thompson during the third quarter in Game 7 of the NBA Finals on June 19, 2016 in Oakland, California. Powered by an amazing effort from LeBron James, the Cleveland Cavaliers completed the greatest comeback in NBA Finals history, dethroning defending champion Golden State 93-89 to capture their first NBA title. The Cavaliers won the best-of-seven series 4-3 to claim the first league crown in their 46-season history and deliver the first major sports champion to Cleveland since the 1964 NFL Browns, ending the longest such title drought for any American city. / AFP / Beck Diefenbach (Photo credit should read BECK DIEFENBACH/AFP/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OH - DECEMBER 25: LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers and Stephen Curry #30 of the Golden State Warriors react to a play during the game on December 25, 2016 at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2016 NBAE (Photo by David Sherman/NBAE via Getty Images)
OAKLAND, CA - JUNE 12: Stephen Curry #30 of the Golden State Warriors and LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers talk after Game Five of the 2017 NBA Finals on June 12, 2017 at Oracle Arena in Oakland, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2017 NBAE (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)
OAKLAND, CA - JUNE 12: LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers hugs Stephen Curry #30 of the Golden State Warriors after Game Five of the 2017 NBA Finals on June 12, 2017 at Oracle Arena in Oakland, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2017 NBAE (Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 18: Stephen Curry #30 and LeBron James #23 speak to the crowd during the NBA All-Star Game as a part of 2018 NBA All-Star Weekend at STAPLES Center on February 18, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)
OAKLAND, CA - May 31: LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers handles the ball against Stephen Curry #30 of the Golden State Warriors in Game One of the 2018 NBA Finals on May 31, 2018 at ORACLE Arena in Oakland, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OH - May 31: LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers and Stephen Curry #30 of the Golden State Warriors talk during Game One of the 2018 NBA Finals on May 31, 2018 at ORACLE Arena in Oakland, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images)
OAKLAND, CA - MAY 31: Stephen Curry #30 of the Golden State Warriors handles the ball against LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game One of the 2018 NBA Finals on May 31, 2018 at ORACLE Arena in Oakland, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photo by Chris Elise/NBAE via Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OH - JUNE 06: LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers drives against Stephen Curry #30 of the Golden State Warriors during Game Three of the 2018 NBA Finals at Quicken Loans Arena on June 6, 2018 in Cleveland, Ohio. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OH - JUNE 08: LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers reacts as Stephen Curry #30 of the Golden State Warriors looks on in the first half during Game Four of the 2018 NBA Finals at Quicken Loans Arena on June 8, 2018 in Cleveland, Ohio. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
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Curry has swiped at Trump before

It’s not the first time Curry has taken on Trump in the media. In 2017, Curry all but called the president an ass after Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank applauded Trump as an “asset for the country.

Curry sided with James in June on the decision of athletes choosing to eschew the traditional White House visit after winning championships while Trump is in office. Curry’s Golden State Warriors did not attend the White House after winning the last two NBA championships.

Athletes continue to challenge Trump’s role in racism

Curry’s Tuesday statement is the latest example of athletes and coaches overtly referring to the latent racism in America that has risen to the surface under Trump’s presidency.

In 2016 San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich described the Trump campaign as “xenophobic, homophobic, racist, misogynistic.”

Boston Celtics forward Jaylen Brown spoke openly in January about his experience with racism and called out Trump by name for his role in making bigotry a more accepted part of the American fabric.

Trump’s attack on James was a reaction to the NBA superstar telling CNN that Trump was using race and sports to divide Americans.

And now Curry, perhaps James’ fiercest on-court rival, has once again aligned with James on an off-court issue of significance.

The NBA and its most visible figures clearly have no intention of backing down from Trump as long as he’s in office.

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