President Donald Trump on Tuesday said it was a disgrace the NBA continued to cater to China despite their known human rights abuses.
“The way they cater to China, the way they bow to China, it’s a disgrace, frankly and they make a lot more money here than they do from China,” Trump said about the organization.
The president commented on the NBA during an interview with Fox Sports Radio host Clay Travis on Tuesday morning.
He also criticized NBA players that frequently protested and voiced opposition to the United States.
“Some are very nasty, very, very nasty, and frankly very dumb,” Trump replied.
The president recalled the United States had enshrined freedom of speech, but suggested players criticize other countries as well.
“We have a system that allows you to disrespect your system and that’s too bad for them, they don’t appreciate what they have here,” Trump said.
The president recalled he once had a good relationship with Chinese President Xi Jinping, recalling a recent trade deal reached with China before the spread of the coronavirus to the world.
“I don’t feel the same way now … We have a much different relationship with China now,” he said. “This is not trade, this is a thousand times the trade deal with what happened with all of the death … the world had to shut down. It’s a disgrace what happened.”
The president also disparaged the NBA after players and coaches took a knee during the national anthem in solidarity with Black Lives Matter.
“I think it’s been horrible for basketball. Look at the basketball ratings. They’re down to very low numbers. … People are angry about it,” he said.
Trump added that he was not comfortable with the tone of the NBA anthem protests.
“There’s a nastiness about the NBA, the way it was done too, so I think the NBA is in trouble,” he said.
asked the president to pick between Michael Jordan or LeBron James as the greatest basketball player of all time, Trump immediately replied, “Michael Jordan.”
“Plus he wasn’t political, so people like him better,” he added.