Posts Tagged ‘Donald Trump’

Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shad Khan believes there’s a hidden agenda behind President Donald Trump’s perceived war against the NFL.

Khan believes that Trump, who once unsuccessfully tried to purchase the Buffalo Bills, feels jilted by the league and is trying to attack it to avenge a personal vendetta.

“This is a very personal issue with him,” Khan told Jarrett Bell of USA TODAY Sports.

“He’s been elected president, where maybe a great goal he had in life to own an NFL team is not very likely,” Khan added. “So to make it tougher, or to hurt the league, it’s very calculated.”

Khan also blasted Trump for his domestic and foreign policies that he believes discriminate against Muslims and Jews – an issue that reaches well beyond the realm of football.

“Let’s get real,” Khan said. “The attacks on Muslims, the attacks on minorities, the attacks on Jews. I think the NFL doesn’t even come close to that on the level of being offensive. Here, it’s about money, or messing with – trying to soil a league or a brand that he’s jealous of.”

Khan donated $1 million to Trump’s inauguration fund but it appears he may harbor some regret about that decision.

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San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich hasn’t minced words in the past over his opinion of president Donald Trump, and won’t be starting now.

Pertaining to an ambush in Niger on Oct. 4 which killed four U.S. soldiers, Trump said the following as to why he hadn’t issued a public statement on the matter, as transcribed by The Nation’s Dave Zirin: “President (Barack) Obama and other presidents, most of them didn’t make calls, a lot of them didn’t make calls. I like to call when it’s appropriate, when I think I’m able to do it.”

Popovich – a military man who served five years in the United States Air Force – reached out to Zirin so he could vent his frustrations over Trump’s comments, insisting that whatever he said be on the record:

I’ve been amazed and disappointed by so much of what this President had said, and his approach to running this country, which seems to be one of just a never-ending divisiveness. But his comments today about those who have lost loved ones in times of war and his lies that previous presidents Obama and Bush never contacted their families, is so beyond the pale, I almost don’t have the words.

This man in the Oval Office is a soulless coward who thinks that he can only become large by belittling others. This has of course been a common practice of his, but to do it in this manner – and to lie about how previous Presidents responded to the deaths of soldiers – is as low as it gets. We have a pathological liar in the White House: unfit intellectually, emotionally, and psychologically to hold this office and the whole world knows it, especially those around him every day. The people who work with this President should be ashamed because they know it better than anyone just how unfit he is, and yet they choose to do nothing about it. This is their shame most of all.

When it was announced that Trump had won the presidency back in November, Popovich mentioned that he was “sick to his stomach” because of the “xenophobic, homophobic, racist, misogynistic” things Trump had uttered prior to being elected.

Popovich has also called America “an embarrassment” to the rest of the world, if only because of Trump’s residence in the Oval Office. He’s even questioned how Trump’s supporters could possibly continue to support a man who continuously crosses moral and ethical boundaries.

Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shahid Khan is helping to lead a resistance against President Trump’s recent ‘demands’ that all NFL players stand for the national anthem.

Khan was one of the first owners to link arms with his team on the sideline following Trump’s initial cry for NFL players to respect the anthem.

“I had heard from a lot of the players what their feelings were, how offended they were (by Trump’s comments) and what they were going to do and my concern was that they don’t do anything to hurt themselves,” Khan said, according to Zoe Galland of Chicago Business. “We wanted to do something as a team, because a team divided against itself cannot stand.”

NFL owners will meet in New York to discuss the ongoing controversy next week – one which Khan says Trump has largely manufactured.

“A lot of the stuff like football (that) Trump does is highly calculated—he looks for issues that you can touch and it will blow people up,” said Khan.

“You have to give (him) credit, people are confused on the First Amendment versus patriotism, that if you exercise your First Amendment you’re not a patriot, which is crazy … People are confused on it, (Trump) knew he could hit on it and take advantage. I think what we’re seeing is the great divider overcoming the great uniter.”

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As “The Star-Spangled Banner” played at Quicken Loans Arena prior to the Cleveland Cavaliers’ open scrimmage Monday, J.R. Smith was seen standing a few feet behind the rest of his teammates.

The 32-year-old veteran guard had his reasons for doing so.

“I don’t feel like the flag represents what it’s supposed to at this point,” Smith said following Friday’s shootaround, according to Cleveland.com’s Joe Vardon. “We obviously didn’t discuss what we were going to do as a team, and I definitely, I don’t feel, it’s not an easy situation for me with the national anthem.

“Especially coming from where I come from, it’s just not. I don’t feel like it’s represented the right way, obviously it’s a tough conversation for everybody, and it still needs to be, I wouldn’t say talked about, because there’s been a lot of conversations about it, it’s time to start doing. What efforts are we going to put toward it?”

Smith has shared his feelings about the state of America and President Donald Trump in the past on social media, not shying away from letting his displeasure be known on a number of political and social matters currently at the forefront of people’s minds.

He went on a Twitter rant back in August after people took to the streets in Boston to protest hate speech following the attacks and riots in Charlottesville involving white supremacists. Smith took shots at Trump – albeit without calling him out directly – and the irony of the president’s “Make America Great Again” slogan while hate continues to seep across the country.

Despite his feelings about the flag, Smith did lock arms with his Cavaliers teammates during the anthem ahead of their preseason opener Wednesday.

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Were he still an active competitor in the NBA, former Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant knows exactly how he’d act during the playing of the national anthem at a time when athletes are using the occasion to protest social issues.

Bryant said during a recent appearance on The Hollywood Reporter’s “Awards Chatter” podcast that he’d take a knee during “The Star-Spangled Banner,” according to ESPN’s Ohm Youngmisuk.

He was then asked what he would convey to President Donald Trump if he had the opportunity to speak with him one on one.

“Focus on serving, not leading,” said Bryant.

When Trump made waves after uninviting Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry to the White House, Bryant joined a number of other basketball stars in openly criticizing the POTUS.

Months earlier, Bryant mentioned he’d probably pay the White House a visit, as it’s less about the administration and more about teammates, love for the country, and the children who look up to professional athletes.

This year’s Lakers squad intends to lock arms during the anthem throughout the upcoming regular season, with head coach Luke Walton saying it will display unity within the organization, while also showing respect for the country.

The league has strict rules in place prohibiting kneeling, reminding players and coaches that they’re required to stand in a recent memo.

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Some consider NFL players protesting during the U.S. national anthem to be disrespectful, arguing that it’s a slight against those that serve in the military.

But for Michael Bennett – one of the league’s most outspoken players on social injustice – it’s a question of doing “the right thing,” regardless of the time or place.

“There’s never a wrong time to do the right thing,” Bennett said Thursday, according to Seahawks Wire’s Lindsey Wisniewski. “Regardless of where you’re at, when there’s a time to do the right thing, you do the right thing. No matter where we’re at in the world, cooking, doing whatever we’re doing at any time, it’s always the right time to do the right thing. There isn’t a place that you feel we shouldn’t do the right thing.”

The Seattle Seahawks‘ star defensive end pledged to sit for “The Star-Spangled Banner” for the entire 2017 season prior to President Donald Trump’s criticism of protesting players, which led to widespread demonstrations throughout the league in Week 3,

Bennett offered to sit down with the president to talk about his issues with protesters Monday, and the pass-rusher extended the same olive branch again.

“I just think that it has to be dialogue between the people who disagree with you and what you believe in to have a conversation about why did he say the certain things,” Bennett said. “To be able to have that dialogue is important, I hate to write him off and just have an opinion about him before you get a chance to have a conversation (with him). For me, it’s always about that.”

Bennett made headlines in early September when he revealed he’d been subject to police brutality in Las Vegas on Aug. 26. He alleged that an officer threatened to “blow (his) fucking head off” before ultimately releasing him. The Las Vegas police department referred to Bennett’s claims as “obvious false allegations.”

“Is there really a time that we shouldn’t be talking about equality?” Bennett said. “When is there not a time to talk about that? We find the time to talk about the Kardashians. We find the time to talk about fantasy football. But when do we find the time to talk about the realities of America, the realities of being a great human being and figuring out how do we make a better world for our kids.”

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The NBA sent a memo to teams Friday reminding them of the rule to stand for the national anthem, according to ESPN’s Zach Lowe, who obtained a copy.

The document indicates that players, coaches, and trainers must stand for both the U.S. and Canadian national anthems and “do not have the discretion to waive” the rule. Violators can be penalized by the league office.

In the memo, deputy commissioner Mark Tatum also offered alternative means of addressing the protest movement that’s become prevalent in the NFL and other leagues. He suggested players and coaches spread a message of unity through a joint pregame address or video tribute.

The memo aligns with commissioner Adam Silver’s message, as he said Thursday he expects players to stand for national anthems.

NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick started the movement last season when he began kneeing during the national anthem to protest racial injustice and police brutality. He’s since been exiled from the league, but his message lives on, with players, coaches, and owners showing solidarity last weekend.

Over in The Association, many NBA players have spoken out against President Trump, including superstars LeBron James, Stephen Curry, and Kevin Durant. The latter two, as well as the rest of the defending champion Golden State Warriors, won’t visit the White House after Trump withdrew their invitation over Curry’s hesitation to attend.

Team owners have been less vocal as to not alienate pro-Trump fans, sources told ESPN. NBPA executive director Michele Roberts has encouraged players to discuss issues that matter to them, and said the union is prepared to respond if the league disciplines players for protesting.