A day after NBA players decided to boycott postseason games, US President Donald Trump ridiculed America’s premier basketball league and said that it’s becoming more like a political organisation.
“I don’t know much about the NBA protest. I know their ratings have been very bad because I think people are a little tired of the NBA,” he told reporters in Washington.
“They’ve become like a political organization, and that’s not a good thing,” he said
Players refused to take the court following fresh widespread protests against racism after the shooting of Jacob Blake by the Wisconsin police last week.
Making their strongest statement yet in the fight against racial injustice, players from six NBA teams decided not to play postseason games on Wednesday in a boycott that quickly reverberated across other professional leagues.
Several NBA players, including the Lakers’ LeBron James, tweeted out messages demanding change. Some teams including Boston, Orlando and Utah released messages supporting the players.
Demand Justice pic.twitter.com/AzBIxP9ZqT
— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) August 27, 2020
Following NBA’s stance against racism, several other sports teams and players joined the protest with former US Open winner Naomi Osaka withdrawing from her semifinal clash at the Western and Southern Open. She was one of the many athletes who addressed the issue by releasing a statement on Twitter. “Before I am an athlete, I am a black woman,” her statement read.
— NaomiOsaka大坂なおみ (@naomiosaka) August 27, 2020
The death of George Floyd, a black man who was killed at the hands of a police officer in Minnesota in May 2020, had sparked similar protests in the US. Athletes across the world showed solidarity with the protests against racism, which many taking a knee before or after sporting events.