President Donald Trump took aim at the NBA on Wednesday when he said he stops watching games that have players kneeling during the national anthem, but by the looks of things, the players are not worried over whether Trump watches the games or not. On Wednesday evening, Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James spoke to reporters after the team's loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder and was asked about Trump's comments.
"I really don't think the basketball community are sad about losing his viewership, him viewing the game," James said via ESPN. "And that's all I got to say." James kept his comments brief on the subject because he knew Trump would respond in some way, which is a battle he does not want to get into. "I already know where this could go, where it could lead to for tomorrow for me," he said. "I'm not going to get into it."
When the NBA resumed the 2019-20 season last week, the majority of players from all teams kneeled during the national anthem to support the Black Lives Matter movement. Trump made an appearance on Fox & Friends on Wednesday and said players kneeling during the national anthem is disrespectful.
"When I see people kneeling during the playing and disrespecting our flag and national anthem, what I do personally is turn off the game," Trump said. "I think it's disgraceful. We work with [the NBA], we worked with them very hard trying to get open. I was pushing for them to get open. Then I see everybody kneeling during the anthem. That's not acceptable to me."
Trump then added that ratings in the NBA are down because players are kneeling. However, Sports Media Watch reported NBA ratings have increased on ESPN/ABC and TNT. Trump shouldn't be too surprised about NBA players kneeling during the national anthem as they talked about ways to support the Black Lives Matter movement before the restart.
While James didn't talk a lot about Trump's comments, he did spend time talking about the upcoming presidential election. "I hope everyone, no matter the race, no matter the color, no matter the size, will see what leadership that we have at the top in our country and understand that November is right around the corner and it's a big moment for us as Americans," James said. "If we continue to talk about, 'We want better, we want change,' we have an opportunity to do that."