The NBA isn’t losing sleep over Trump and his opposition to kneeling during the national anthem
During recent NBA games, players have been taking a knee during the national anthem — a peaceful demonstration against police brutality that, of course, does not sit well with Donald Trump. The president recently said he finds the sight of players kneeling “disgraceful” and that it makes him “turn off the game.” LOL, okay. You know who else finds it funny to incite the ire of our racist president? LeBron James.
When asked about Trump’s comments during a post-game press conference last night, the Lakers superstar and founder of Akron’s I Promise school was admirably blunt. “Are you trying to make me laugh?” he said to the reporter. “I really don’t think the basketball community is sad about losing his viewership.”
LeBron James on Donald Trump saying he won’t watch any more NBA games because people have kneeled to protest systemic racism during the national anthem: “I really don’t think the basketball community are sad about losing his viewership.” pic.twitter.com/l9sP7LiFsi
— Mark Medina (@MarkG_Medina) August 6, 2020
Since the NBA season resumed last month, many players and coaches have been kneeling during the anthem in protest of racial inequality and to honor those in the Black community who have been killed by police. LeBron says the amount of true NBA fans around the world more than compensates for the negativity Trump spouts about the organization.
“I think our game is in a beautiful position, and we have fans all over the world. And our fans love not only the way we play the game — we try to give it back to them with our commitment to the game — but also respect what else we try to bring to the game in acknowledging what’s right and what’s wrong.”
Trump: It’s disgraceful to kneel during the anthem. I won’t be watching.
— Complex Sports (@ComplexSports) August 6, 2020
Back in June, LeBron founded More Than A Vote, a voting rights group aimed at motivating Black Americans to vote in November. At the time of the announcement, he said the desire to create the group was fueled by the global outcry over George Floyd’s death while in police custody.
“Because of everything that’s going on, people are finally starting to listen to us — we feel like we’re finally getting a foot in the door,” James told the New York Times in June. “How long is up to us. We don’t know. But we feel like we’re getting some ears and some attention, and this is the time for us to finally make a difference.”
One of the things LeBron has worked on is More Than A Vote, which will fight voter suppression, especially which affects black communities: “They don’t believe that they can go and affect change. And that’s something that I grew up feeling the same way.” pic.twitter.com/MNgSXOxYHK
— Kyle Goon (@kylegoon) August 4, 2020
Trump has always spoken out against athletes taking a knee during the national anthem, ever since Colin Kaepernick began kneeling in 2016. In his latest interview, Trump said sports are seeing “low ratings” because people aren’t “standing for the flag.”
As for LeBron, he told the reporter he hopes every American — “no matter the race, no matter the color” — can see Trump’s presidency for what it is. “November is right around the corner and it is a big moment for us as Americans.”