Jabari Parker on avoiding Trump hotels: 'You don't want to endorse hate, racism'

Ball Don't Lie
<a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="/nba/teams/mil/" data-ylk="slk:Milwaukee Bucks">Milwaukee Bucks</a> forward <a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="/nba/players/5293/" data-ylk="slk:Jabari Parker">Jabari Parker</a> supports neither hate nor President-elect Donald Trump. (AP)
Milwaukee Bucks forward Jabari Parker supports neither hate nor President-elect Donald Trump. (AP)

Unsurprisingly amid strong opposition to President-elect Donald Trump’s election from both coaches and players alike, at least three NBA teams have stopped staying at Trump hotels in New York City and Chicago this season, according to a report from ESPN.com’s Marc Stein and Zach Lowe on Tuesday.

The Milwaukee Bucks, Memphis Grizzlies and Dallas Mavericks have all sought other options “in part to avoid an implied association with the new president-elect,” according to the report. So, as these teams began to meet with the media on Wednesday, the questions were bound to be posed to them.

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Milwaukee’s inclusion in that trio was perhaps most heavily reported, since Bucks owner Marc Lasry was an outspoken supporter, advisor and fundraiser for Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton. His team reportedly tried to cancel its stay at Chicago’s Trump International Tower and Hotel during the preseason, and has since made arrangements to stay elsewhere during the regular season.

Bucks coach Jason Kidd confirmed the report in a media session at the team’s morning shootaround prior to Wednesday night’s game against the Hawks Hawks. “We don’t really comment about our travels,” said Kidd, via the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “Whoever talked about our travels, it’s unfortunate. But we did stay at the Trump in Chicago. It’s a hotel. It has nothing to do with politics.”

Likewise, Grizzlies coach David Fizdale chose to avoid any association with a political controversy:

Chicago native Jabari Parker took a different tact, commenting in full about Milwaukee’s travels:

“I’m pretty proud for my owner, representing us and representing himself, and not trying to represent our organization with controversy.

“You don’t want to endorse hate; you don’t want to endorse racism. You don’t want to support controversy.

“I’m really proud we won’t be staying there because I couldn’t be comfortable being around him and his businesses. I know he’s our president. But it’s just going to take some time. And he hasn’t publicly come out with an apology for anyone or for the things he said.

“And I’m connected to all the ideologies he disrespects. I was named after a Muslim. My mother is basically an immigrant because she came from Tonga. Her rights as a woman — she got less pay. I’m black and he’s said some controversial stuff about black people. When it comes to me not supporting Donald Trump, it’s pretty much correlated to the things he has said.”

This isn’t the first time Parker has publicly criticized Trump’s “Make America Great Again” rhetoric. Traditionally a quiet man of principle, he expressed his opposition to the election results on Nov. 9:

For those counting at home, that’s two coaches from the three teams who have stopped staying at Trump hotels this season who aren’t willing to say whether the move is politically motivated, and one player who couldn’t be more clear about the political motivations for him not sleeping on a pillow provided by a man who he views as discriminatory based on religion, race, country of origin and sex.

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Ben Rohrbach is a contributor for Ball Don’t Lie and Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at rohrbach_ben@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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