On Wednesday, the United States of America’s political involvement with the NBA/China tweet controversy may have reached its peak when President Donald Trump addressed the media. During the press conference, Trump was highly critical regarding the lack of position by Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr, and San Antonio Spurs coach Greg Popovich. The Republican Party leader referenced that the two Team USA coaches were scared to comment on the issue, and that the NBA was on their own to find a resolution with the communist state.
According to ESPN, Trump was highly-critical and insulting of Kerr, saying the coach “was like a little boy, he was so scared to be even answering the question,” when referencing the three-time NBA championship coach’s “no comment” position on the issue. When asked about the potential fallout of Daryl Morey’s controversial tweets during an interview Monday, Kerr declined to elaborate.
The Warriors’ head coach has been very critical of the President on many social issues in the past few years. So it’s not surprising that Trump continued his criticism of Kerr saying, “He couldn’t answer the question — he was shaking, ‘Oh, oh, oh, I don’t know. I don’t know. He didn’t know how to answer the question, and yet he’ll talk about the United States very badly.”
Then Trump’s focus shifted to Popovich. Earlier in the week, Greg also avoided discussing the controversy. However, the Spurs’ coach did manage to commend NBA commissioner Adam Silver for supporting Morey’s right to free speech. Via ESPN, The President went a little easier on “Pop” saying, “I watched Popovich — sort of the same thing, but he didn’t look quite as scared actually,” Trump said. “But they talk badly about the United States, but when it talks about China, they don’t want to say anything bad. I thought it was pretty sad, actually. It’ll be very interesting.”
Regarding the entire matter, ESPN reported the President had this to offer. “I watch the way that Kerr and Popovich and some of the others were pandering to China, and yet to our own country, it’s like they don’t respect it,” Trump said. “It’s like they don’t respect it. I said, ‘What a difference — isn’t it sad?’ It’s very sad. To me, it’s very sad.”
Both coaches have yet to respond to Trump’s criticism. The current issue regarding the NBA and their business relationship with China is making plenty of headlines. Already engaged in what seems to be a trade war, the two countries have been very critical of each other. Although he mentioned the NBA is on their own, it’s not surprising to see Trump meddle in the situation because of the league’s unfavorable reception towards him since beginning his presidency. Many championship players and teams have declined to visit the White House, a national tradition, as Trump has been accused of being racially insensitive regarding minorities.
Socially, the United States is in a very delicate state at the moment. There is a vast separation between conservatives and liberals, and the scandal brings to light the question of the NBA’s true patriotism. Yes, the president believes that these American-born players and coaches should put their country first, and wallets second. Many citizens with NBA ties are staying mum, because they stand to lose a lot in both a monetary sense and and socially as role models. It’s intriguing to see where the controversy will go, and the scrutiny these NBA players and coaches will face next season during the 2020 Olympic Games, being held in Tokyo, Japan.
Header Photo Credit: Daily Mail