WATCH: President Trump Blasts NBA for ‘Pandering’ to China

President Trump
AP Photo/Alex Brandon

President Donald Trump ripped NBA officials and players for pandering to China in response to demands that they censor support for Hong Kong protesters.

“They talk badly about the United States, but on China, they do not want to say anything bad,” Trump said. “I thought it was sad, actually.”

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Trump singled out Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr and San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich for frequently criticizing President Trump and the United States but being unwilling to take on China.

Kerr and Popovich were criticized for their weak responses despite being vocally critical of political and social issues in the United States.

“It’s a really bizarre international story and a lot of us don’t know what to make of it,” Kerr said when asked about the story. “It’s something I’m reading about, just like everybody is. But I’m not going to comment further than that.”

“He was shaking,” Trump said about Kerr. “He did not know how to answer the question.”

The uproar began when general manager of the Houston Rockets Daryl Morey retweeted a simple message of support to Hong Kong, sparking the Chinese government to react by canceling business deals with the team and pulling NBA games off television.

Morey deleted the message and apologized, while the NBA issued a statement calling it “regrettable,” which sparked an uproar in the United States for kowtowing to the Chinese Communist government.

Trump did not criticize China’s pressure against the NBA.

“They have to work out their own situation,” he said. “They know what they are doing.”

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