Shame on NBA Commissioner Adam Silver.
After his league’s biggest star, LeBron James - both on and off the court - was trashed by President Donald Trump in a tweet recently, Silver offered of a lame, Charmin-soft statement in defense of James.
Silver basically validated that James is smart and a good person.
“I greatly admire his intelligence and business acumen and have enormous respect and appreciation for what he does in his community,” Silver’s statement read.
What? That was it.
Steve Kerr comments about President Donald Trump tweeting that the Warriors are not welcome at the White House, saying it is more difficult now to put aside political differences than in the past.
How about Silver telling Trump he’s both wrong and out of bounds. And that NO NBA team will visit the White House again as long as Trump continues with his racist/hateful attacks, especially aimed at black athletes in this country.
The same goes for NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred and NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman.
Collectively, they should stand together and against what has been divisive and mean-spirited behavior by Trump.
This isn’t about politics. It’s not about a particular party or ideology.
This is about right and wrong. This is about treating people with respect and decency.
Sports has led the way for social change in this country.
Yet when it comes to this president, these commissioners have run and hid from the big bad wolf. So sad.
Especially MLB. That’s so disappointing when you think it was the leader of social change with Jackie Robinson breaking the color barrier in 1947, allowing a black player to play with whites. It changed the country for the better.
Yet, the 2017 World Champion Houston Astros would honor such a man with a visit to the White House for a photo-op. Baseball turned its back on Robinson and what he stood for.
President Trump welcomes the World Series baseball champion the Houston Astros to the White House on March 12. Subscribe to The Washington Post on YouTube: http://bit.ly/2qiJ4dy Follow us: Twitter: https://twitter.com/washingtonpost Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/washingtonpost/ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/washingtonpost/
All the honors they have bestowed on Robinson mean little when you turn the other way on something that clearly isn't right and just.
Same goes for the NFL.
They are afraid of Trump, too. They have aligned with him as well over the player protests.
This is the same league that once took away the state of Arizona from ever having another Super Bowl because it wouldn’t recognize the Martin Luther King Jr. national holiday.
Yes, the NFL was fighting for social justice and the right thing back in 1993.
“I do not believe playing Super Bowl XXXVII in Arizona is in the best interest of the National Football League,” then-commissioner Paul Tagliabue said. “Arizona can continue its political debate without the Super Bowl as a factor.”
Amazing. The NFL simply did the right thing.
It’s something they won’t do against Trump. NFL teams go to the White House despite what he has said about its players. Shameful.
The Philadelphia Eagles had their invite pulled away because only a few were actually going to attend. Good for the Super Bowl Champs.
The Philadelphia Eagles are still basking in the glory of the franchise's first Super Bowl title, but some players already have their minds made up on the White House visit that traditionally follows. Subscribe to TIME ►► http://po.st/SubscribeTIME Get closer to the world of entertainment and celebrity news as TIME gives you access and insight on the people who make what you watch, read and share.
Same goes for Silver. The Golden State Warriors have pushed back, but not the league.
Again, this is the same league that stripped the L.A. Clippers from owner Donald Sterling after recordings of him talking in racists terms about black people surfaced.
In that case, Silver was swift and stern. Sterling was forced to sell and banned from the league.
Silver also took the NBA All-Star Game from Charlotte after a controversial bathroom bill passed, discriminating against transgender people.
But so far against Trump, the commish seems to be scared to take him on, call him out and stand up for justice for all. It’s so disappointing.
So far, most of the Washington Capitals are planning to go to the White House after they won the Stanley Cup this past season. But not all.
Devante Smith-Pelly, who is black and Canadian, said he doesn’t want to go.
“The things that (Trump) spews are straight-up racist and sexist,” Smith-Pelly told reporters. “Some of the things he’s said are pretty gross. I’m not too into politics, so I don’t know all his other views, but his rhetoric I definitely don’t agree with.”
Players and teams shouldn’t have to make decisions on their own. The league leaders should speak in one voice. Send a strong message that such behavior won’t be tolerated, not even from the President of the United States.
Maybe it’s too much to expect from Silver, whose league has an un-American rule that players MUST stand for the national anthem.
This country was built on protest. And being a pro athlete for some sports league should never supersede your rights an American citizen.
The same goes for honoring a president that is not right or fair. He should be shunned, ostracized.
The sports leagues can do it, and should do it.