President Donald Trump blasted the NBA for continuing to “cater to China,” despite their known human rights abuses.
“The way they cater to China, the way they bow to China, it’s a disgrace, frankly and they make a lot more money here than they do from China,” Trump said.
During an in an interview with Fox Sports Radio host Clay Travis, Trump said:
“Some are very nasty, very, very nasty, and frankly very dumb,” the presdient said, noting NBA players that frequently protested against the United States.
Trump recalled the United States had enshrined freedom of speech, suggesting players should criticize other countries.
“We have a system that allows you to disrespect your system, and that’s too bad for them, they don’t appreciate what they have here,” Trump added.
Trump also noted he once had a good relationship with Chinese President Xi Jinping, recalling the trade deal reached with China before th COVID-19 pandemic hit.
“I don’t feel the same way now … We have a much different relationship with China now,” he said.
“This is not trade; this is a thousand times the trade deal with what happened with all of the death … the world had to shut down. It’s a disgrace what happened.”
The President also slammed NBA and coaches who took a knee during the national anthem in solidarity with Black Lives Matter.
“I think it’s been horrible for basketball. Look at the basketball ratings,” he said.
“They’re down to very low numbers. … People are angry about it,” he said.
Trump also said he wasn’t comfortable with the tone of the NBA anthem protests.
“There’s a nastiness about the NBA, the way it was done too, so I think the NBA is in trouble,” he said.
In June, an anti-Trump NBA coach attacked the American flag, blasting Old Glory as “irrelevant.”
San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich told Maureen Dowd of The New York Times that the American “flag is irrelevant.”
“It’s just a symbol that people glom onto for political reasons,” Popovich said.