Trump: NBA Has Become ‘Like a Political Organization’

August 27, 2020 Updated: August 27, 2020

President Donald Trump criticized the National Basketball Association (NBA) on Thursday for becoming increasingly engaged in politics.

Trump said he didn’t know much about the boycott players announced the day prior before adding, “I know their ratings have been very bad because I think people are a little tired of the NBA.”

“They’ve become like a political organization, and that’s not a good thing,” he told reporters in Washington.

Three games were scheduled to take place Wednesday night but the Milwaukee Bucks opted not to take the floor for a match with Orlando Magic.

Because of that action, all of the night’s games were postponed, the NBA and NBA Players Association said in a joint statement.

Players believe the police shooting of Jacob Blake, a 29-year-old black man, in Kenosha, Wisconsin, on Sunday was unjust. They say it’s part of a pattern of police misconduct against minorities. Blake had an arrest warrant for sexual assault and was captured on video struggling with officers. Investigators announced later Wednesday that he possessed a knife.

Bucks Vice President Alexander Lasry said he was “incredibly proud of our guys and we stand 100% behind our players ready to assist and bring about real change.”

Epoch Times Photo
An empty court and bench are shown following the scheduled start time in of Game 5 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff serie in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., on Aug. 26, 2020. (Kevin C. Cox/Pool/AP Photo)

Thursday’s games will also be postponed, Mike Bass, the NBA’s executive vice president said. “We are hopeful to resume games either Friday or Saturday.”

NBA players are in a so-called bubble in Florida in an attempt to prevent transmission of the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, which causes the COVID-19 disease. Since the season resumed last month, most players and personnel have knelt during the National Anthem on courts emblazoned with “Black Lives Matter.” They also don jerseys that have a number of slogans on them related to the police shootings of minorities, including “Justice” and “Say Their Names.”

Trump’s remarks followed White House senior advisor Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law, describing NBA players as “very fortunate that they have the financial position where they’re able to take a night off from work without having to have the consequences to themselves financially.”

“I think with the NBA, there’s a lot of activism and I think that they’ve put a lot of slogans out. But I think that what we need to do is turn that from slogans and signals to actual action that’s going to solve the problem,” he added, speaking to CNBC.

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, when asked about Trump’s comments during a virtual appearance on CNN Thursday, said: “What Trump knows but won’t acknowledge is a lot of these men and women have had brothers, sisters, husbands, wives, who have been victimized just because of their color. Just because of their color. They don’t need any more attention, they are sick and tired.”

“The vast majority of the American people are ready to deal with systemic racism. And all this administration does is keep pouring gasoline on the fire,” he charged.

In a separate statement he posted on social media, Biden added: “This moment demands moral leadership. And these players answered by standing up, speaking out, and using their platform for good. Now is not the time for silence.”

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