Through the last several weeks, there has been an increased dialogue around the social injustices that the Black community faces. That has led to a reigniting of conversations around kneeling during the national anthem. President Donald Trump has once again aired his criticism toward that action with that directed at the NBA. LA Clippers head coach Doc Rivers has quickly responded with a stern stance.
Donald Trump criticizes NBA over kneeling
Throughout his presidency, Donald Trump hasn’t been shy in airing out his feelings toward any subject.
Trump has maintained his stance on kneeling during the national anthem as being disrespectful to the American flag and military. He voiced that sentiment on Wednesday during an interview on “Fox and Friends.” (H/T NBC Sports)
“When I see people kneeling during the playing and disrespecting our flag and national anthem, what I do personally is turn off the game. 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’s comments are what many believe about kneeling during the national anthem. He has continued to hammer home about his disdain toward what he believes is a disrespectful action.
Doc Rivers fires back at Donald Trump
The strong comments didn’t take long for these strong comments from Donald Trump to make their way around the NBA.
LeBron James made his feeling heard about the situation after the LA Lakers’ loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder. That was followed by Doc Rivers taking a similar route with his comments stating that he didn’t exactly care about Trump’s remarks.
“Well,” said Rivers, laughing, “we lost one guy. Like, really, I don’t even care. We know that justice is on our side, right?
“And this hat that I’m wearing is what our president is trying to get us to not do, which I think is just as disgraceful.”
The NBA has been quite supportive of their players and coaches throughout the entire process. The league has moved toward allowing them to use their platform to bring attention to the social injustice in many different manners. That has ranged from phrases on the back of their jerseys to having Black Lives Matter on the court to airing many commercials bringing attention to those issues.
What is lost in translation here from the president is the association with disrespecting the flag and intent of kneeling. It has never had any connection toward anything of that sense in any capacity. That is where the conflict lies in the entire situation, which has created tension around it.
With that said, it’s clear that the NBA and the players and coaches will continue to stay the course with their mission to bring attention and change to the social issues.
NBA will remain firm in support of the players
There continues to be backlash toward kneeling during the national anthem, but it’s something the league supports their players.
That is something that will stay the course with the league for as long as the players and coaches believe it should be a focal point. There is full backing from commissioner Adam Silver on the matter with the use of their elevated platform. The comments from Donald Trump do place more of the limelight on the NBA, but it’s not one that is altering their stance.
There isn’t any ill-will or disdain sent back from the league, but rather a sharper focus to stay firm with their message. It’s like that there will be more on this front, but it doesn’t look like the NBA will budge.