The NBA has officially been back for nearly a week and President Trump is already taking shots at the league.
So far during the NBA season restart only two players, Meyers Leonard and Jonathan Isaac, have stood during the anthem which led to the President sending this tweet.
People are not happy that players are not standing for our National Anthem!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 4, 2020
On Wednesday morning the President continued his attack on the NBA and criticized players for kneeling by calling them “disgraceful.”
President Trump calls NBA players "disgraceful" for kneeling during anthem, implies that he's done more for the black community than Abraham Lincoln pic.twitter.com/C5YJW3pAps
— gifdsports (@gifdsports) August 5, 2020
I think it’s disgraceful. We work with (the NBA), we worked with them very hard trying to get open. I was pushing for them to get open. Then I see everybody kneeling during the anthem. That’s not acceptable to me. When I see them kneeling during the game, I just turn off the game. I have no interest in the game. Let me tell you this, plenty of other people out there, too.”
Trump went on to mock the NBA’s ratings during the restart which haven’t been great.
“The ratings for the basketball are way down, as you know,” “I hear some others are way down, including baseball. We have stand up for our flag, stand up for our country. A lot of people agree with me. If I’m wrong, I’m going to lose an election. That’s okay with me. I will always stand for our flag.”
NBA players don’t seem worried about whether Trump will tune in or not. Last week, New Orleans Pelicans guard J.J. Redick told Yahoo Sports’ Chris Haynes that players aren’t concerned if Trump watches the NBA.
Via Yahoo Sports
“First of all, I don’t think anybody in the NBA cares if President Trump watches basketball. I couldn’t care less,” he said. “As far as his base, I think regardless of the specificity of tweeting about the NBA, every tweet of his is meant to divide, every tweet is meant to incite, every tweet is meant to embolden his base.”
It seems like the kneeling debate isn’t going to go away anytime soon.