Lakers' LeBron James: NBA Players Not Sad About Donald Trump Not Watching

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistAugust 6, 2020

LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers reacts to a call against the Oklahoma City Thunder during the second half of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, Aug. 5, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (Kevin C. Cox/Pool Photo via AP)
Kevin C. Cox/Associated Press

LeBron James isn't going to lose any sleep if the current president of the United States chooses not to watch NBA games.

Mark Medina of USA Today shared James' comments following the Los Angeles Lakers' 105-86 loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday, in which the King said, "I really don't think the basketball community are sad about losing his viewership."

Mark Medina @MarkG_Medina

LeBron James on Donald Trump saying he won’t watch any more NBA games because people have kneeled to protest systemic racism during the national anthem: “I really don’t think the basketball community are sad about losing his viewership.” https://t.co/l9sP7LiFsi

Chris Cwik of Yahoo noted Donald Trump appeared on Fox News and said it is "disgraceful" players have knelt during the national anthem as a means of protesting police brutality and systemic racism.

"I think it's disgraceful," he said. "We work with [the NBA]. We work very hard trying to get them open. I was pushing them to get open. And then I see everyone kneeling during the anthem. It's not acceptable to me. When I see them kneeling, I just turn off the game. I have no interest in the game."

The comments came after Trump tweeted on July 21 that he would turn off games if players knelt.

James isn't the only NBA player to feel that way about the president. New Orleans Pelicans guard JJ Redick told Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports, "First of all, I don't think anybody in the NBA cares if President Trump watches basketball. I couldn't care less."

Trump taking time to complain about athletes using their platform to protest police brutality and systemic racism is nothing new. In 2017, he infamously said, "Wouldn't you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, 'Get that son of a bitch off the field right now, out, he's fired. He's fired.'"

It is also unsurprising to see James so dismissive of the former host of The Apprentice.

The Lakers star has frequently criticized Trump in the past, even calling him "U bum" in a tweet. James also notably called Barack Obama "my President" when wishing him a happy birthday on Tuesday.


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