U.S. President Barack Obama enjoyed the social consciousness shown by NBA players such as LeBron James, in light of recent high-profile events.

Obama and his wife Michelle gave a candid interview to People, discussing their own struggles with racism.

Per ABC:

“Barack Obama was a black man that lived on the South Side of Chicago, who had his share of troubles catching cabs,” Michelle Obama told the magazine. […] “There’s no black male my age, who’s a professional, who hasn’t come out of a restaurant and is waiting for their car and somebody didn’t hand them their car keys,” he said.

 

The president told People that he applauds the efforts of other prominent African-American athletes and celebrities to speak out against police brutality using the “I Can’t Breathe” slogan, inspired by the case of Eric Garner, the Staten Island man who died after he was put in a choke hold by a New York City police officer. President Obama has not directly weighed in on the case.

 

“I think LeBron did the right thing,” Obama said of Cleveland Cavaliers star LeBron James, who wore a shirt with the slogan on the court. “We forget the role that Muhammad Ali, Arthur Ashe, and Bill Russell played in raising consciousness. I’d like to see more athletes do that — not just around this issue, but around a range of issues.”