The Washington Post reports: President Trump turned professional sports into a political battleground Friday night into Saturday, directing full-throated ire toward African American athletes who have spoken out against him and prompting a sharp rebuttal from the National Football League and the two most prominent basketball players in the world.
In a span of roughly 12 hours, as the sports world would typically be gearing up for college football and baseball’s pennant races, Trump ensnared and agitated the most powerful sports league in North America and angered NBA superstars Stephen Curry and LeBron James. His comments set the stage for potential mass protest Sunday along NFL sidelines.
At a political rally Friday in Huntsville, Ala., Trump called on NFL owners to release players who demonstrated during the national anthem in the manner of former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who knelt last season to draw attention to police violence against African Americans. Saturday morning on Twitter, Trump rescinded a White House visit invitation to Stephen Curry of the NBA champion Golden State Warriors, although it is unclear whether the Warriors had been invited in the first place.
“Going to the White House is considered a great honor for a championship team. Stephen Curry is hesitating,therefore invitation is withdrawn!” Trump posted at 7:45 a.m. Saturday. [Continue reading…]
U bum @StephenCurry30 already said he ain't going! So therefore ain't no invite. Going to White House was a great honor until you showed up!
— LeBron James (@KingJames) September 23, 2017
The New York Times reports: Since last season, when the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick began kneeling during the national anthem, the protest has become a litmus test for players, many of whom say they support the protesters but continue to stand for the national anthem. Many coaches and owners have been more explicit, with some all but demanding that players stand for the anthem.
More than half a dozen owners contributed to Mr. Trump’s inauguration, and many of them donate heavily to conservative causes. Some owners, including Robert K. Kraft of the New England Patriots, consider Mr. Trump a personal friend.
Opinions have sharpened in recent months as Mr. Kaepernick, who led the 49ers to the Super Bowl several seasons ago, remains unsigned, leading to charges that the owners have blacklisted him for his political views. [Continue reading…]
Bob Kraft, Jerry Jones, Stan Kroenke, Daniel Snyder, Shahid Khan, Woody Johnson & Bob McNair each gave $1M to Trump. https://t.co/QXSsiYu3X7
— Don Van Natta Jr. (@DVNJr) September 23, 2017
This explains so much about Trump, the NFL, and why Colin Kaepernick doesn't have a job https://t.co/ZLUqLrhKQE
— Dan Pfeiffer (@danpfeiffer) September 23, 2017