Donald Trump has berated athletes in both football and basketball for daring to protest the disproportionate use of force and even murders of black Americans at the hands of police. As it turns out, they’re not all that worried about what Trump thinks.
Asked about President Trump’s recent statements in which he said he would no longer be watching the NBA as long as players kneeled during the National Anthem, a form of protest against police brutality which began with Colin Kaepernick in the NFL, NBA star Lebron James of the Los Angeles Lakers didn’t seem too bothered by it.
‘I really don’t think the basketball community are sad about losing his viewership. The game will go on without his eyes on it. I can sit here and speak for all of us that love the game of basketball, we could [not] care less.’
LeBron James "couldn't care less" if Trump watches NBA or not https://t.co/nVp3d3fkff
— Newsweek (@Newsweek) August 6, 2020
The same president who has been on a campaign to fearmonger around the protests of the murder of George Floyd, protests he opposes because they’re not the way he thinks black Americans should be protesting, has a problem with peaceful demonstrations by black Americans, too. It isn’t hard to figure out why.
‘I think it’s disgraceful. We worked with them. We worked very hard trying to get them open. I was pushing them to get open, then I see everyone kneeling during the anthem. It’s not acceptable to me. When I see them kneeling, I just turn off the game. I have no interest in the game. Let me tell you, there are plenty of other people out there [tuning out] too. … The ratings for the basketball are way down.
‘We have to stand up for our flag. We have to stand up for our country. We have to stand up for our anthem. A lot of people agree with me. Hey, if I’m wrong, I’m going to lose an election. That’s okay with me. I’ll always stand for our country and our flag.’
After President Trump said that he regarded NBA players’ kneeling during the national anthem as “disgraceful” and vowed to stop watching games, LeBron James said that the basketball community was not “sad about losing his viewership" https://t.co/VD02uT8TWl
— The New York Times (@nytimes) August 6, 2020
James was calm during conversations with the press about Trump’s endless Twitter rants and public statements about Black Lives Matter, reminding everyone that the most important act of protest comes in November.
‘I hope everyone — no matter the race, color or size — see what leadership we have at the top in our country. November is right around the corner and it’s a big moment for us as Americans. We want better, we want change, and we have an opportunity to do that.’
LeBron James, asked to respond to Trump claim of delivering historic benefits to African-Americans: “Are you trying to make me laugh right now?"
— John Harwood (@JohnJHarwood) August 6, 2020
Featured image screenshot via YouTube