Magic Johnson, Doc Rivers share similar sentiments on Donald Trump drama
Two of the biggest names in Los Angeles professional basketball shared remarkably similar sentiments when weighing in on the drama spawned by President Donald Trump’s comments related to the NBA and NFL in recent days, specifically related to football players protesting during the national anthem.
Los Angeles Lakers president of basketball operations Magic Johnson and Los Angeles Clippers head coach Doc Rivers were both not surprisingly asked about the Trump controversy. But the similarities in what they said was interesting to say the least.
In short, both suggested that Trump should spend less time worrying about NFL player protests and the like and instead focus on the issues inspiring the protests. Trump of course argued that NFL players who protested during the anthem should be “fired,” among other inflammatory comments. Trump also rescinded an invite to the NBA champion Golden State Warriors over comments made by Stephen Curry, although it’s unclear if an invitation was extended in the first place.
“We have bigger problems in our country than to worry about people who are exercising their freedom of speech,” Johnson said, via The Los Angeles Times. “North Korea is a big problem. Job creation is a major problem. Making sure that our schools are better. I could just keep going. These are things he should be concentrating on. We elected him to concentrate on those things.
“… All these players are exercising their right and I think the president should be really focusing in on the issues at hand of our country and of the people who live in our beautiful country and not those who are saying hey this is my right to do what I’m doing.”
Rivers echoed Johnson’s comments when articulating his thoughts on the issue.
“I don’t think that players want to protest,” Rivers said, via The Los Angeles Times. “I think the reason they’re protesting is because they think there’s injustice and there’s prejudice and there’s bigotry. There’re a lot of things that we want [for] our country to be great. I don’t think anyone is upset at ‘Making America Great.’ I think we’re all upset at the word ‘Again.’ When I hear the word ‘Again,’ I’m thinking [going] backwards, going back. That’s what that word means, and I don’t think anyone wants that.
“So, I guess in short, if Donald Trump did his job, players would not be kneeling at the end of the day, ’cause I don’t think anyone wants this country to do poorly. We all are cheering for this country to do well. So, do your job and players will stop kneeling.”