President Donald Trump always has an opinion when it comes to sports and how players use their platform. He’s blasted NFL players, Colin Kaepernick in particular, for kneeling during the national anthem. He’s been very opinionated on NBA players kneeling as well. On Thursday, during a hurricane briefing, Trump took aim at the NBA’s latest ratings.
Donald Trump: NBA kneeling ‘disgraceful’
When the NBA restarted its season July 30, players were determined to use their platform to being awareness to racial inequality. The mission stemmed from the death of George Floyd back on May 25. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver worked with the players, allowing several changes.
One of the changes was to have players kneel during the national anthem if they decided to. The league has had a rule in place since 1981 that stated all players had to stand for the anthem in a dignified manner. Silver cited “extreme circumstances” in allowing the players to kneel. The kneeling during the anthem didn’t sit well with President Trump.
“I think it’s disgraceful. We work with (the NBA), we worked with them very hard trying to get open,” Trump said, according to an Aug. 5 article in USA Today. “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 blasted Colin Kaepernick when he was kneeling
At a campaign rally back in 2017, President Donald Trump spoke about NFL players during the national anthem. Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback had begun kneeling in 2016 and other players began to follow. That prompted Trump to voice his opinion when he was speaking in Huntsville, Alabama.
“Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when someone disrespects our flag to say, ‘get that son of a bitch off the field right now. Out. He’s fired. He’s fired,” he told his supporters, according to NBC Sports. Trump’s comment drew cheers. He wasn’t finished.
“You know, some owner is gonna do that,” Trump continued. “He’s gonna say, ‘That guy disrespects our flag, he’s fired.’ And that owner, they don’t know it. They don’t know it. They’re friends of mine, many of them. They don’t know it. They’ll be the most popular person, for a week. They’ll be the most popular person in this country.”
Trump mocks the NBA ratings
During a hurricane briefing Thursday, President Trump took a swipe at the declining NBA ratings. The subject was brought up about the NBA players boycotting games after Sunday’s shooting of Jacob Blake in Wisconsin. According to Sports Illustrated, ABC’s first playoff game of this season fell 23 percent in ratings and 21 percent in viewership compared to last year.
Trump, according to The New York Post, said he wasn’t really up on the status of the boycotts, but knew that the ratings were plummeting. “I don’t know much about the NBA protests,” Trump said.
“I know their ratings are very bad because I think people are a little tired of the NBA, frankly. But I don’t know too much about the protests, but I know their ratings have been very bad and that’s unfortunate. They have become like a political organization. And that’s not a good thing. I don’t think that’s a good thing for sports or for the country.”