President Trump blasted the NBA and the NFL and took a shot at baseball as well in comments disapproving of the latest social justice stands across the sports leagues.
President Trump referred to the “nastiness” in the NBA and criticism of him personally by team members as he spoke with Outkick, told host Clay Travis on Tuesday, also targeting the NFL players and others for protesting during the national anthem.
“Well, they wanna open and they wanna open badly. They’ve been working with government,” Trump said in response to a question about the NFL season opener.
“I would say this, if they don’t stand for the national anthem I hope they don’t open,” he added.
“But other than that I would love to see them open and we’re doing everything possible for them getting them open. I think they can protest in other ways. They shouldn’t protest our flag or our country,” Trump said.
Trump chuckled when asked if he talked to sports team owners about whether their players would end up standing for the playing of the national anthem, saying how the owners know “very well” how he feels about the issue.
He also pointed to the lower ratings for the games, saying that the teams have taken a hit because of the choice to politicize the sports.
“I think it’s been horrible for basketball. Look at the basketball ratings. They’re down to very low numbers. People are angry about it. They don’t realize … They have enough politics with guys like me. They don’t need more as they’re driving down, going up for the shot. They don’t need it,” he said.
“There’s a nastiness about the NBA about the way it was done too. So I think the NBA is in trouble. It’s in big trouble. Bigger trouble than they understand,” the President continued, adding that ice hockey was doing well because they showed respect where necessary.
“I did not like what baseball did even a little bit. Again, you have to stand for your flag and you have to stand for your flag and your country,” he contended.
“They’re making millions of dollars a year to play a sport you’d be playing anyway if you didn’t make … they’d be playing it on the weekends. They have to respect their country,” he said.
“If they don’t, frankly, if the NFL didn’t open I’d be very happy. If they don’t stand for the flag and stand strongly I’d be happier if they didn’t open. Without that and with that being said, I’d love to see them open.”
Travis questioned whether the president thought it was “hypocritical” for the NBA to attack him personally, often lashing out on social media, while remaining blatantly silent on human rights violations in China. The league has come under some heat recently over a reluctance to speak out against the Communist Party in China, a country with a large international market for the sports league.
“The NBA is taking billions from China. There are all sorts of human rights violations going on in China right now and none of the players, and none of the coaches will say a word about that,” Travis said. “They won’t stand for the anthem, they’ll rip you as the president but they won’t say a negative word about China at all.”
“I haven’t noticed them sending things back at me, but I will say that I wouldn’t be that surprised,” President Trump replied. “Some are very nasty. Very, very nasty, and frankly, very dumb.”
“The way they catered to China, the way they bowed to China, it’s a disgrace, frankly,” Trump continued.
“And they make a lot more money here than they do from China. But we have a system that allows you to disrespect your system,” the president said, driving home the reality that the high-paid players ignore.
“And that’s too bad for them. Too bad for them,” he said. “They don’t appreciate what they have here.”