Sportress of Blogitude

Donald Trump: NBA players kneeling during the anthem ‘disgraceful’

Donald Trump has again directed his attention to the goings-on in the world of sports, and the President unsurprisingly has taken a vehement, condemnatory stance against players engaging in acts of peaceful protest.

Appearing on FOX News Wednesday morning, Trump blasted NBA players who have been kneeling during the national anthem, calling the decision to do so “disgraceful.”

“I think it’s disgraceful,” Trump said. “We work with them, we work with them very hard trying to get them open. I was pushing to get them open and 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.”

Trump’s take on NBA players kneeling during the pregame anthem — which has been widespread amid the league restart — obviously should come as little surprise. On MLB’s Opening Day, Trump fired off a tweet presumably in response to some members of the San Francisco Giants taking a knee during the anthem in their season-opening game. In the tweet, Trump threatened to turn off any game in which players kneel during the anthem.

As far as the NBA is concerned, odds are the players will pay little mind to Trump’s rant. New Orleans Pelicans star JJ Redick said last week that he doesn’t think “anybody in the NBA cares if President Trump watches basketball.”

Trump’s derision notwithstanding, NBA players have the full support of the league when it comes to kneeling during the anthem and other associated displays of activism during the restart at the Walt Disney World Resort’s ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. 

The White House issued a statement late last month celebrating the long-awaited return of sports. It’s safe to assume, however, that Trump intends to continue being the polarizing presence in the sports world he has been throughout his presidency, especially when it involves player protests during the anthem.