Protests sparked across the country last May after the police custody death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Those protests led to the NBA coming back with a ton of messaging on the back of player’s jerseys as well as the court. The NFL also had a ton of messaging in the form of released videos, helmet decals, and players speaking out about racial injustices.
President Trump said Wednesday the NBA and NFL fans want their sports free of politics, which was in response to a question from former NFL quarterback Brett Favre. The former Green Bay Packers star’s prerecorded question for the president on how leagues should address racial injustice without alienating viewers came during a presidential town hall.
Favre said both the NBA and NFL were both struggling with lower TV ratings because of players being able to make political statements on their jerseys, helmets and footwear and by kneeling for the national anthem or staying in the locker room.
“The NBA and the NFL are struggling with lower ratings, as fans clearly do not want political messaging mixed with their sports,” Favre said, via Des Bieler of The Washington Post.
The president agreed:
“People don’t want to see all of the politics,” Trump told host Eric Bolling. “They’ve got enough politics with me and with everybody else. And they don’t want to see it with football or sports on Sunday or whenever they happen to be watching. I think it’s had a huge impact on sports, a huge negative impact on sports. And I think that football ought to get back to football and basketball to basketball. And let politics remain separate.”
He said players who are making millions of dollars a year shouldn’t be allowed to protest on the sidelines.
“They want to have these players stand and salute or put their hand over their heart or at least stand for the national anthem and salute,” he said. “They want to respect the American flag. They want respect for our country. They want respect for the American flag.”