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NBA superstar LeBron James calls Hamas attacks on Israel ‘tragic and unacceptable’

By Jacob Lev and Ben Church, CNN

(CNN) — Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James called the Hamas attacks on Israel “tragic and unacceptable” in a joint statement posted on X, formerly known as Twitter, with his business partner Maverick Carter on Wednesday.

“The devastation in Israel is tragic and unacceptable. The murder and violence against innocent people by Hamas is terrorism,” James and Carter said.

“The SpringHill Company family sends our deepest condolences to Israel and the Jewish community,” added the statement, referring to the Emmy Award-winning studio team, founded by James and Carter.

“We pray for peace in the region and reiterate our continued commitment to fight hate in all its forms.

James has long been a champion for social justice and racial equality.

“I will never shut up about things that are wrong,” James said in 2021. “I preach about my people and I preach about equality, social justice, racism, voter suppression – things that go on in our community.

“I’ll use my platform to continue to shed light on everything that’s going on around this country and around the world. There’s no way I would ever just stick to sports, because I understand how powerful this platform and my voice is.”

The decades old conflict between Israelis and Palestinians entered uncharted territory this week after Hamas’ October 7 onslaught, when armed militants poured over the heavily-fortified border into Israel.

The gunmen killed more than 1,200 people, wounding thousands more in a coordinated rampage through farms and communities where they also took as many as 150 hostages.

Israel has stepped up its offensive in Gaza after the attacks.

At least 1,200 people have since been killed in Gaza, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry, including hundreds of women and children.

Thousands more have been wounded as Israeli air strikes continue to pummel the densely populated strip, decimating buildings, reducing entire streets to rubble and trapping residents.

The National Basketball Association (NBA) and the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) released a joint statement Monday in tribute to those who died during the attacks in Israel.

“The NBA and NBPA mourn the horrific loss of life in Israel and condemn these acts of terrorism. We stand with the people of Israel and pray for peace for the entire region,” the organisations said.

Meanwhile, Major League Soccer (MLS) posted a statement calling for peace in the region.

“Major League Soccer mourns the loss of life in Israel and condemns terrorism in all forms,” it said.

“Our hearts ache for all the families and friends of those who have lost their lives or are missing at this time. We hope that peace, dialogue and understanding will prevail over violence and hate.”

The NFL, MLB and NHL also released statements denouncing the violence in Israel.

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CNN’s Nada Bashir, Kareem El Damanhoury, Ali Younes, Mohammed Tawfeeq, Rhea Mogul and David Close contributed reporting.

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