Washington, Sept 24: US President Dold Trump is facing growing condemtion from the sports world after his criticism of players.
On Friday, Trump said the tiol Football League (NFL) should fire players who protest during the US anthem, BBC reported on Saturday. High-profile football players as well as basketball star LeBron James openly criticised Trump in response. One NFL team owner said Trump’s comments were “offensive”.
At a rally on Friday night, Trump said NFL players who protested during the playing of the tiol anthem should be fired by their team — referencing a controversial string of protests over race relations started by player Colin Kaepernick last year. On Saturday, he withdrew an invitation to the White House from basketball champions the Golden State Warriors after one player, Steph Curry, said he did not want to attend. Curry said he wanted to show that he and other players did not stand for “the things that he’s said and the things that he hasn’t said in the right times”. “Going to the White House is considered a great honor for a championship team,” Trump tweeted afterwards. “Stephen Curry is hesitating, therefore invitation is withdrawn!” In response, triple NBA champion LeBron James, one of the sport’s foremost stars, labelled the President a “bum”. “Going to White House was an honour until you showed up,” he said.
Retired star Kobe Bryant said Trump was a president “whose me alone creates division and anger” and could not possibly achieve his campaign slogan to “make America great again”. Jed York, CEO of the San Francisco 49ers - the former team of Colin Kaepernick - said he would continue to support his players’ “pursuit of positive change”. “The callous and offensive comments made by the President are contradictory to what this great country stands for,” he said in a statement. (IANS)