On Wednesday, professional basketball player LeBron James said he doesn’t think the NBA will miss President Trump as a viewer after the latter said he didn’t have interest in the league because of players who kneel for the national anthem.
“I really don’t think the basketball community are sad about losing his viewership, him viewing the game,” said James after the Lakers’ 105-86 loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday night.
“And that’s all I got to say. I don’t want to, I’m not going to get into a … because I already know where this could go, where it could lead to for tomorrow for me. I’m not going to get into it.”
Earlier that day, President Trump talked on “Fox & Friends” about kneeling for the national anthem.
Lakers’ LeBron James on President Trump saying kneeling NBA players are a “disgrace”: “I really don’t think the basketball community are sad about losing his viewership. … November is right around the corner and it’s a big moment for us as Americans.” pic.twitter.com/m8G3KQAWsd
— Ben Golliver (@BenGolliver) August 6, 2020
“I think it’s disgraceful,” Trump said. “We work with them (the NBA), we worked with them very hard trying to get open. I was pushing for them to get open. Then I see everybody 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 this, plenty of other people out there, too.”
Los Angeles Clippers head coach Doc Rivers also shared his thoughts: “We lost one guy. Like, really, I don’t even care. We know that justice is on our side, right? And this hat that I’m wearing is what our president is trying to get us to not do, which I think is just as disgraceful,” Rivers said, referring to his hat that says “VOTE.”
According to Fox News, the president has long been outspoken against athletes kneeling during the national anthem. The gesture started when then-San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick “took a knee during the national anthem to protest racial inequality and police brutality” in 2016.