USA president Donald Trump again showed his aversion to the kneeling athletes during the national anthem in the NBA.
Trump had been showing his critical opinion of the BLM movement for a long time. This time, he had a press conference in White House with Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy where he spoke about the movement. He told that the authority should take steps to ban the players who kneel.
“It’s called respect for our country,” Trump said to reporters.
“I think it’s disgraceful,” Trump said. “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 considers the kneeling movement nothing but showing disrespect to the American flag and also the military.
“They were fighting for our country,” the president said, “They were fighting for our flag, they were fighting for our national anthem.
“For people to disrespect that by kneeling during the playing of our national anthem, I think, is disgraceful.”
Last Friday, the president attended a rally in Alabama where he said that players failing to stand when the national anthem is played should either be fired or suspended.
The movement was actually started by the 49ers quarterback, Colin Kaepernick in 2016. Nate Boyer, the former NFL long snapper worked with Kaepernick to develop the method of protest. Earlier in June, he disclosed that stance:
— Nate Boyer (@NateBoyer37) February 4, 2019
However, Trump falsely blamed the players’ decision of kneeling saying the movement was the main reason for NBA television rating dropped significantly.
“The ratings for the basketball are way down, as you know,” he said. “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.”
On the other hand, according to the Sports Media Watch report, NBA television climbed up 14 percent since the restart of the league at the Disney World Complex.
J.J. Redick, the New Orlando Pelicans guard shared his opinion on Thursday saying players don’t bother whether White House TVs tune in to watch NBA or not.
“First of all, I don’t think anybody in the NBA cares if President Trump watches basketball. I couldn’t care less,” Reddick 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.”
Since the restart of the NBA amidst the Covid-19 pandemic, players have worn shirts supporting the Black Lives Matter movement. They have also taken a stance by kneeling during the national anthem as a part of the protest.