The NBA returned to action on Thursday night, as the league had two thrilling games on display for its fans. Following the opening matchup between the New Orleans Pelicans and Utah Jazz, veteran guard JJ Redick had a message to share for President Donald Trump.
Redick, who had the message “Say Their Names” on the back of his jersey, wanted to address President Trump’s recent tweet about athletes kneeling during the national anthem.
“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,” President Trump tweeted on July 21.
If President Trump actually feels that way about professional sports, then last night’s game was over for him before it ever began. Every coach and player for the Jazz and Pelicans kneeled during the anthem to show solidarity.
As for Redick’s post-game message, the sharpshooter wants everyone to know that he doesn’t care if President Trump watches the NBA.
“First of all, I don’t think anybody in the NBA cares if President Trump watches basketball. I couldn’t care less,” Redick told Chris Haynes of 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.”
President Trump said kneeling during anthem is ‘a sign of great disrespect’ and ‘the game is over for me’ if players do. Pelicans guard JJ Redick to @YahooSports: ‘I don't think anybody in the NBA cares if President Trump watches basketball' https://t.co/H4FeEecvIY pic.twitter.com/TRvCtb52HJ
— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) July 31, 2020
The Pelicans fell short to the Jazz on Thursday night, but Redick gave his team a much-needed boost off the bench with 21 points.
Even though President Trump isn’t a fan of athletes kneeling during the anthem, it doesn’t sound like it’ll affect the way the NBA raises awareness for social injustice in America.