Trump calls NBA “political organization” after playoff protest
President Donald Trump slammed the National Basketball Association on Thursday after professional basketball players stepped out of playoff games to protest police shootings and racial inequality.
âPeople are tired of the NBA,â Trump said during a visit to the Federal Emergency Management Agency. âThey have become like a political organization and that is not a good thing. I don’t think that’s a good thing for the sport or for the country.
Trump made the remarks just hours before accepting the Republican nomination for re-election. But above the festivities, the unrest in Kenosha, Wisconsin, where a black man, Jacob Blake, was shot repeatedly in the back by police earlier this week.
Professional basketball and baseball players refused to play Wednesday during the episode, and two people were killed during a Black Lives Matter protest against Blake’s shooting. An Illinois teenager whose social media accounts contained pro-Trump and pro-police footage has been arrested for the crime.
After skipping Wednesday’s games, the players voted to continue the remainder of the playoffs, ESPN reported. Three more games will be postponed Thursday and more are expected to resume on Friday, according to The Athletic.
The Republican convention featured blacks, mostly men, who served as character witnesses for Trump. They refuted criticisms of the president who brand him as racist for his repeated attacks on protests against police brutality, defense of the Confederate flag and other statements.
Hurts my soul
“It pains my soul to hear the terrible names people call Donald. The worst is racist. I take it a personal insult that people think I would have a 37-year friendship with a racist,” Former National Football League player Herschel Walker said Monday evening.
But Team Trump’s response to the NBA walkout is sure to fuel racial tensions. Earlier Thursday, Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner said NBA players who postponed games to protest racial injustice in police shootings have the âluxuryâ of taking a night off.
“NBA players are very fortunate to have the financial situation that allows them to take a night off without having to suffer the financial consequences,” Kushner, senior White House adviser, said in a statement. an interview with CNBC. âSo they have that luxury, which is great. “
Shortly after his interview with CNBC, Kushner expanded on his remarks in an interview with Politico, saying he would like to see players “start to embrace real and productive solutions.”
Vice President Mike Pence’s chief of staff Marc Short called the NBA walkout “absurd” and “stupid.”
âIf they want to protest, I don’t think we care,â Short told CNN.
Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden defended NBA and Women’s National Basketball Association players, who missed games. Biden told CNN: “A lot of these men and women have had siblings, husbands, wives who were victimized simply because of their color.”
âThey don’t need the attention anymore,â Biden said. âThey are sick and tired.