Before the MLB and NBA returned to action, President Donald Trump had a message for athletes that kneel during the national anthem. He made it clear that he wouldn’t watch if people didn’t stand for the anthem, saying “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.”
That threat from President Trump didn’t have any effect on either league. We’ve seen countless players in the MLB and NBA kneel during the national anthem. Jonathan Isaac and Meyers Leonard were the only notable names to stand for the anthem over the weekend.
New Orleans Pelicans guardJJ Redicktold Yahoo Sports that NBA players don’t care what President Trump thinks, saying “First of all, I don’t think anybody in the NBA cares if President Trump watches basketball.”
At this point it doesn’t appear that players will stop kneeling during the national anthem. The MLB and NBA are showing solidarity in the fight against racial injustice. That being said, President Trump isn’t happy with what’s transpired in the sports world.
Earlier today, President Trump chimed in on this topic yet again, tweeting “People are not happy that players are not standing for our National Anthem!”
Judging off athletes’ initial reactions to Trump’s original comments, it’s highly unlikely this has any effect on whether players kneel or stand for the anthem.
Kneeling for the national anthem isn’t a sign of protesting the flag or the military. Once again, it’s to protest police brutality and racial injustice taking place in the United States.
With several MLB and NBA games on today’s schedule, we’ll most likely see hundreds of athletes kneel when the national anthem is playing.