Last season in the National Football League, San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kapernick began kneeling – or taking a knee – during the performance of the National Anthem as a silent protest of injustice toward non-white Americans.
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While Kapernick is no longer a part of the NFL, the practice has grown to numerous players across the league, and even a few outside of football.
As wildfires rage in California, citizens and concert goers in Las Vegas are trying to come to grips with the most violent shooting in modern U.S. History, and entire communities are struggling to recover from some of the most devastating hurricanes in U.S. History; the President of the United States has chosen to take um-bridge with the NFL for their choice of protest.
But perhaps the National Basketball Association has found a more direct way of protesting hate and injustice…the pocketbook of that very same POTUS.
Traveling is a big part of any professional sport with players sometimes finding themselves in hotel rooms more than their own homes during the season. For NBA teams who played the New York Nicks and the Brooklyn Nets that often meant staying at one of the many Trump properties.
Last year a number of players began to refuse to stay in a Trump establishment. According to a report that appeared in the Washington Post, the practice has grown to cover over half of the NBA teams including the Indiana Pacers, the Dallas Mavericks, the Memphis Grizzlies, the Oklahoma City Thunder, the Milwaukee Bucks, and the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Speaking on the decision, Milwaukee Buck Jabari Parker said, “You don’t want to endorse hate; you don’t want to endorse racism. You don’t want to support controversy.”
Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr said, “The president has seemingly made a point of dividing us as best he can. He continually offends people, and so people don’t want to stay at his hotel. It’s pretty simple.”
Recently when members of the NBA champion Golden State Warriors, most notably Stephen Curry, expressed a desire to forego the champions visit to the White House; Trump “uninvited” the team.
But the NBA is not the only professional sports teams to stay away from Trump properties. There are 105 teams that comprise the NBA, NFL, MLB, and NHL. According to the Washington Post article 71 of those 105 have ceased staying at a Trump property.
A sports team travels with an entourage of anywhere from 25 to 100 personnel including players, coaches, trainers, and other staff; which translates into a lot of money. But more than the teams, fans like staying in the hotels with the teams in hopes of getting a glimpse, or even a meet, with their favourite players. The Trump property boycott by teams could end up costing much more than just a few hotel rooms.
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