Donald Trump again bashes ‘highly political’ NBA: ‘Ratings are WAY down’
Donald Trump continued his criticism of the NBA in a tweet Tuesday in which he claimed the postseason’s ratings have suffered because the league has been overly politicized.
Last month, Trump unsurprisingly blasted NBA players who have kneeled during the national anthem in the league’s restart in the Orlando, Fla., bubble, calling the decision to do so “disgraceful.”
Trump’s tweet Tuesday doubled down on his stance against the NBA’s social activism during the league restart, which he also reiterated last week while speaking to reporters.
People are tired of watching the highly political @NBA. Basketball ratings are WAY down, and they won’t be coming back. I hope football and baseball are watching and learning because the same thing will be happening to them. Stand tall for our Country and our Flag!!!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 1, 2020
Social activism targeting systemic racism, social injustice and police misconduct has played a prominent role in the NBA’s restart. The recent incident involving Jacob Blake — an unarmed Black man who was shot seven times in the back by officers in front of his children in Kenosha, Wisc. — unsurprisingly inspired outrage in the NBA bubble. The outcry resulted in three days of postseason games getting postponed last week.
High-ranking members of Trump’s administration condemned the players for deciding to strike, with one official arguing that no one cares about the boycott protest.
All that being said, several big names in the NBA presently playing in the Walt Disney World Resort’s ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex reacted to Trump’s original condemnation of players peacefully protesting, with most paying little mind to his criticism.
It stands to reason the league’s overall reaction to Trump, who has been a polarizing presence in the sports world throughout his presidency, will be the same in this instance.