New Orleans Pelicans star J.J. Redick has some strong thoughts about President Donald Trump not watching games with players kneeling during the national anthem. The NBA veteran saw what Trump wrote on Twitter last month, which stated: "Looking forward to live sports, but any time I witness a player kneeling during the National Anthem, a sign of great disrespect for our Country and our Flag, the game is over for me!" Reddick said NBA players aren't concerned with Trump being a fan.
"First of all, I don't think anybody in the NBA cares if President Trump watches basketball. I couldn't care less, Redick said to Yahoo Sports. "As far as his base, I think regardless of the specificity of tweeting about the NBA, every tweet of his is meant to divide, every tweet is meant to incite, every tweet is meant to embolden his base. So [last week] was no different." When the NBA resumed the 2020 season, teams started to kneel during the national anthem while wearing Black Lives Matter shirts. Trump recently made an appearance on Fox & Friends and was asked about NBA players protesting.
"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 in the interview. "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. When I see them kneeling during the game, I just turn off the game. I have no interest in the game. Let me tell you this, plenty of other people out there, too."
Redick and NBA players realize that some fans might not like they are kneeling during the national anthem, but the players understand there are some things bigger than basketball. "Look, we want people to enjoy the NBA and we love our fans, but I think there has to be some level of acceptance and acknowledgment in what our league is saying, what our league is doing and what is happening across this country," Redick stated. The bad news for Redick his season has come to an end as the Pelicans failed to reach the playoffs. Redick, 36, will not be playing in the postseason for the first time in his 14-year career.