Donald Trump bashes ‘disgraceful’ NBA players kneeling during anthem
United States President Donald Trump doubled down on his remarks regarding sports teams kneeling during the national anthem, a sentiment that has become overwhelmingly popular in the NBA.
Speaking to FOX News, Trump denounced NBA players for kneeling during the anthem, calling them “disgraceful” while tooting his own horn in regards to helping the Black communities.
“I think it’s disgraceful,” said Trump. “We work with them, we work with them very hard trying to get them open. I was pushing to get them open and then I see everybody kneeling during the anthem. It’s not acceptable to me. When I see them kneeling, I just turn off the game.”
President Trump calls NBA players "disgraceful" for kneeling during anthem, implies that he's done more for the black community than Abraham Lincoln pic.twitter.com/C5YJW3pAps
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Trump has threatened to tune out of the NBA restart if players resorted to kneeling for the anthem before — a stance many right-wing personalities have grown adept to since.
Last week, New Orleans Pelicans marksman JJ Redick argued not a single NBA player would care if Trump isn’t watching them play:
“First of all, I don’t think anybody in the NBA cares if President Trump watches basketball. I couldn’t care less,” Redick told Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports on Thursday night after a 106-104 loss to the Jazz. “As far as his base, I think regardless of the specificity of tweeting about the NBA, every tweet of his is meant to divide, every tweet is meant to incite, every tweet is meant to embolden his base. So [last week] was no different.”
Trump spent the next minute of airtime trying to convince the host he has done the most for Black communities since Abraham Lincoln. And, boy, was that rich.
He then ensured to say — again — that he won’t be tuning in to watch:
“When I see people kneeling during the playing and disrespecting our flag, disrespecting our national anthem — what I do personally is turn off the game. And the ratings for the basketball are way down, as you know.”
The NBA is a predominantly Black league, with roughly 74% of it comprised of African or African American athletes. Only two players have stood for the anthem since the restart: Orlando Magic forward Jonathan Isaac and Miami Heat big man Meyers Leonard. San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich, who served five years in the Air Force, has also stood, though he obviously is a consistent critic of Trump and an outspoken voice when it comes to social justice.