Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James on Wednesday said he does not think the NBA will lose President Trump as a spectator after the president recently declared his lack of interest in the league due to players who lie on their knees for the national anthem.
“I don’t think the basketball community are upset about losing his viewer, watching him play the game,” James said after the Lakers ’105-86 loss on the night of the Oklahoma Thunder on Wednesday night in Orlando, Fla., according to Mark Medina of the United States Today.
“And everything I found I won’t get into.”
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In an interview with “Fox & Friends,” earlier Wednesday, President Trump forced back on professional athletes to their knees for the national anthem, calling it an “outrage.”
“I think it’s outrageous,” Trump said. “We work with them (the NBA), we work with them very hard to try to open them. I insisted on opening them. Then I see everyone kneeling during the anthem. 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, a lot of other people there as well. “
Los Angeles Clippers head coach Doc Rivers also responded to the president’s comments during a conference call with reporters on Wednesday, according to Tania Ganguli of the Los Angeles Times. Rivers was caught on video wearing a hat with the words “VOTE” on it.
“We’ve lost one man. Like, really, they don’t even care. We know justice is on our side, don’t we?” Said Rivers. “And this hat I’m wearing is what our president is trying to force us to do. we don’t, which I think is just as bad. “
Trump has long been slammed against athletes on their knees during the national anthem, a gesture that began in 2016 when San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick then took a knee during the national anthem to protest racial inequality and brutality. of the police.
The president took to Twitter last month to express his excitement for returning to live sports after a hiatus during the coronavirus pandemic, but added that whenever he saw a player kneel, “the game ended for me. ! “
“I look forward to playing the sport, but every time I want to get a player to kneel during the National Anthem, a sign of disrespect to our Country and our Flag, the game is over for me!” Trump wrote in the July 21st.
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Following this tweet, New Orleans Pelicans veteran JJ Redick said he doesn’t believe anyone in the league cares if Trump was watching them play.
“First of all, I don’t think anyone in the NBA cares if President Trump watches basketball. I couldn’t care less,” he told Yahoo Sports. “As far as his base is concerned, I think regardless of the specificity of the tweeting. about the NBA, every tweet of his is meant to be shared, every tweet is meant to incite, every tweet is meant to strengthen its base. So [last week] it was no different. “
The NBA added an average of 1.86 million viewers across ABC, ESPN, and TNT as of Monday, up about 15 percent from when the league suspended its season in March, according to Sports Media Watch, which quoted Nielsen estimates. While those numbers may seem normal after a long hiatus in sports, they also exist with the coverage of the local regional sports network.
In June, the NBA and the players’ union agreed to shed light on social justice issues to be a common goal of restarting the 22-team season in Orlando. “Black Lives Matter” can be seen printed on the court during games.
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“The league and the players are in a unique position to have a direct impact on the fight against systemic racism in our country, and we are committed to collective action to build a more equal and just society,” said the Commissioner of -NBA Adam Silver. “A common goal of restarting our season will be to use our platform in Orlando to pay attention to these important social justice issues.”
Fox News “Ryan Gaydos and Paulina Dedaj contributed to this report