While the topic of athletes kneeling during the national anthem in a protest to raise awareness of police brutality was already one of the biggest topics in the sports world, when the president gets involved it goes to a whole new level.
And when that president is Donald Trump, and he calls football players who engage in such activities “sons of bitches” who should be fired, the amp goes way past 11.
When that president then goes on to uninvite Steph Curry from the White House like he’s Riff Raff canceling a nacho party with hot girls ... well, here we are.
With Pistons media day mere hours away, owner Tom Gores decided to get out in front of the story by releasing an official statement in support of players right to “raise awareness in a manner they believe is both thoughtful and impactful.”
Gores does not mention Donald Trump, the national anthem, kneeling or the “sons of bitches” attack.
Oddly, unlike the NFL, which had hundreds of players demonstrate in various ways this weekend following the president’s remarks and standard Twitter tirade, the NBA actually has a written policy forbidding players from kneeling during the national anthem.
It is unclear if, considering the context, the league would want to revisit the rule, if players will kneel regardless of consequences or if they will come up with a different form of silent protest or show of solidarity.
You can be sure that this will be a dominant topic with players and coaches at media day, and I’d be shocked if Stan Van Gundy didn’t fill a notebook with choice quotes.
Tom Gores full statement:
"America's most treasured values include equality and diversity, and the right to effect change through peaceful expression and thoughtful debate. Our players care deeply about our community, and they demonstrate that every day. We support their right to raise awareness in a manner they believe is both thoughtful and impactful. We hope that any response to it will be equally thoughtful."