- President Donald Trump told reporters last week that mixing politics with sports will “destroy basketball.”
- Trump was asked on Friday about some initiatives from the NBA and its players to protest against police brutality, including delaying last week’s playoff games days after Jacob Blake was shot by police.
- “You know when you watch sports, you want to sort of relax, but this is a whole different world … You don’t want to stay in politics. You want to relax,” Trump said, before warning that political statements from football and baseball teams could be “very bad” for the leagues.
President Donald Trump says politically inspired protests by NBA players will ruin the sport.
On Wednesday, NBA playoff games were postponed as players from the Milwaukee Bucks, Houston Rockets, Oklahoma City Thunder, Los Angeles Lakers, and Portland Trail Blazers chose not to play in response to the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
—Milwaukee Bucks (@Bucks) August 26, 2020
The NBA announced that playoffs would resume on Saturday, August 29, but the league will continue efforts to help shine a light on things like racial injustice, criminal just reform, police reform, and limited voting access.
When asked on Friday about actions the league and players in the wake of Jacob Blake’s shooting by police, Trump said the political statements will “destroy basketball.”
“It’s terrible,” Trump said, according to a White House press pool report. “I think what they’re doing to the NBA in particular is going to destroy basketball. I can’t – I don’t even watch it. … You know when you watch sports, you want to sort of relax, but this is a whole different world. … You don’t want to stay in politics. You want to relax.”
It’s not just the NBA taking a stance. On Thursday, it was reported that several NFL teams sat out of practice in response to the shooting, which Trump also called “very bad.”
“It’s very bad for the NBA and it’s going to prove to be very bad for football,” Trump continued. “It’s going to be very bad for football and I think it’s very bad for the NBA. Maybe even NBA threatening. And it’s going to be very bad for baseball if they don’t get smarter.”
Among the football teams that canceled practice are the Chicago Bears, New York Jets, Green Bay Packers, Indianapolis Colts, Tennessee Titans, Denver Broncos, Arizona Cardinals, Los Angeles Chargers, and Washington Football Team, according to ESPN.
—Indianapolis Colts (@Colts) August 27, 2020
As for the NBA, some teams have already announced that their arenas will be used for voting in November. Business Insider’s Grace Panetta previously reported that the league would “establish a social justice coalition” and broadcast ads during games that will promote voting in both national and local elections and spread awareness about the importance of improving voting access.
—LeBron James (@KingJames) August 29, 2020