President Donald Trump told Fox News on Wednesday that he’d turn off a game if he saw NBA players take a knee during the national anthem before games to protest systemic racism and police brutality. The president’s comments were slammed by NBA superstar LeBron James who said the basketball community “could care less” about losing Trump as a viewer.
“I think it’s disgraceful,” said Trump, who has long launched vitriolic attacks on athletes kneeling to call for institutional change.
James was asked about Trump’s comments following the Los Angeles Lakers side’s loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday at the NBA’s bubble in Florida. James and other players took a knee before the game:
“I really don’t think the basketball community are sad about losing his viewership,” James responded to a reporter before saying that the 2020 election was “a big moment for us as Americans” and “an opportunity” for change.
“The game will go on without his eyes on it,” James added. “I can sit here and speak for all of us that love the game of basketball. We could care less.”
Check out Trump’s comments and James’ response below:
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
Here’s LeBron’s response:
LeBron James on Donald Trump saying he won’t watch any more NBA games because people have kneeled to protest systemic racism during the national anthem: “I really don’t think the basketball community are sad about losing his viewership.” pic.twitter.com/l9sP7LiFsi
— Mark Medina (@MarkG_Medina) August 6, 2020