For a few weeks now, President Trump has focused an inordinate amount of energy on attacking NFL players for choosing to kneel during the national anthem to protest police brutality and racism in the United States. Now, he’s going to have to split his time between complaining about the NFL and complaining about the NBA.
During Tuesday’s night’s season opener, the Cleveland Cavaliers stood with their arms locked during the national anthem to show solidarity with the NFL players who continue to kneel in protest. The team’s star player, LeBron James, also sported black Nikes with “Equality” written on the back in gold letters.
Sports Illustrated tweeted a picture of the shoes on Tuesday night:
Some people appreciated the gesture, while others weren’t particularly impressed.
James has been an outspoken critic of Trump for awhile now. He recently called the president a “bum,” after he uninvited the Golden State Warriors’ Stephen Curry from a visit to the White House and, at the Cavs’ media day, he explained his reason for continuing to speak out for equality:
‘I will in my voice, I will in my passion, I will in my money, I will in my resources to my youth and my inner city and outside my inner city to let these kids know that there is hope, there is greater walks of life, and not one individual, no matter if it’s the president of the United States…can stop your dreams from becoming a reality.’
That same day, he also said that he “salutes” the NFL players who tried to show unity and solidarity in the wake of Trump’s attacks.
‘I salute the NFL, the players, the coaches, the owners and the fans….it was unbelievable. There was solidarity. There was no divide, no divide even from that guy that continues to try to divide us as people. Like I said on one of my social media platforms a couple days, ago, the thing that kind of frustrated me and pissed me off a little bit, he used the sports platform to try to divide us.
While James and the rest of the Cavaliers seem fine with signs of solidarity, it’s unlikely that they’ll be kneeling during the anthem anytime soon.
In September, NBA commissioner Adam Silver said he expected NBA players to stand for the national anthem.
‘We have a rule that requires our players to stand for the anthem. It’s been our rule as long as I’ve been involved with the league, and my expectation is that our players will continue to stand for the anthem.’
Featured image via Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images.