Trump Seethes Over NBA Social Justice Initiatives: Some Players are ‘Very, Very Nasty, and Frankly, Very Dumb’


President Donald Trump is raging over the NBA’s social justice initiatives and its members’ criticism of him personally.

In an interview on Fox Sports Radio Tuesday, the president was asked by host Clay Travis whether he believes it’s hypocritical for NBA players to attack him and protest during the national anthem while keeping silent on human rights violations in China — a nation with which the league does big business.

“I haven’t noticed them sending things back at me, but I will say that I wouldn’t be that surprised,” Trump replied. “Some are very nasty. Very, very nasty, and frankly, very dumb.”

Trump went on to bash the league and its players for not being more critical of China.

“The way they catered to China, the way they bowed to China, it’s a disgrace, frankly,” Trump said. “And they make a lot more money here than they do from China. But we have a system here that allows you to disrespect your system. And that’s too bad for them. Too bad for them. They don’t appreciate what they have here.”

Earlier in the segment, Trump took specific aim at the league for protesting during the national anthem.

“Look at the basketball ratings,” Trump said. “They’re down to very low numbers. Very, very low numbers. … There was a nastiness about the NBA, the way it was done too. So I think the NBA is in trouble. Big trouble. Bigger trouble than they understand.”

Sports Media Watch reports that NBA telecasts across ABC, ESPN and TNT are averaging 1.56 million per game, down 4 percent from the league’s average before shutting down in March — although primetime TV viewership is generally down in August.

NBA players have been unified in their support of social justice initiatives. Many players are wearing jerseys which bear social justice messages. And nearly every player in the league has knelt during the national anthem.

Last week, LeBron James — the league’s biggest star — mocked the president for saying he’s done more for African Americans than any president since Abraham Lincoln, and said that Trump would not be missed, if he were to make good on his threat to stop watching the NBA.

“I really don’t think the basketball community are sad about losing his viewership, him viewing the game,” James said.

Listen above, via Fox Sports Radio.

Have a tip we should know?

Filed Under:

Joe DePaolo is a Senior Editor at Mediaite. Email him here: Follow him on Twitter: @joe_depaolo