Within a span of 12 hours, President Donald Trump blasted NFL players who protest the national anthem and two-time NBA champion Stephen Curry — remarks that were quickly denounced online by celebrities, sports personalities, and even the NFL itself.
“We’re not on the plantation anymore Chump. There will be no ‘buck breaking’ out here. Fingers on the hand form a fist. #TakeAKnee ’til free,” Grey’s Anatomy star Jesse Williams wrote on Twitter, referencing the anthem protests.
Speaking Friday at a campaign rally for Alabama senator Luther Strange, Trump veered into the debate over NFL players kneeling for the national anthem — a movement that gained national attention thanks to former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick. “Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, say: “Get that son of a bitch off the field right now. Out. He’s fired. He’s fired,” Trump said, using profanity to underscore his apparent point. He didn’t mention Kaepernick by name.
On Saturday morning, after tweeting about the GOP’s fledgling plans to repeal the Affordable Care Act, Trump turned his thoughts to Steph Curry, who led the Golden State Warriors to an NBA championship this year. “Going to the White House is considered a great honor for a championship team. Stephen Curry is hesitating, therefore invitation is withdrawn!” Trump wrote, failing to mention that Curry previously said he didn’t want to go to the White House to see Trump anyway.
“By acting and not going, hopefully, that will inspire some change when it comes to what we tolerate in this country and what is accepted and what we turn a blind eye to,” Curry said Friday when asked why he wanted to skip the Trump visit. “It’s not just the act of not going there. There are things you have to do on the back end to actually push that message into motion.” He added, “I don’t think us not going to the White House is going to miraculously make everything better, but this is my opportunity to voice that.”
Trump was slammed for his Curry remarks on Twitter, including by filmmaker Ava DuVernay. “Man, nobody with any sense or self-respect considers it an honor to be within a 10 mile radius of you. It is known,” she wrote.
Curry’s wife, Ayesha, also mocked Trump — and urged her Twitter followers to donate to earthquake relief efforts for Mexico (something the president failed to mention during his Saturday morning Twitter rant).
Later on Saturday, four-time MVP LeBron James added his voice to the choir of people condemning Trump.
Curry also received support from ESPN host Jemele Hill, who tweeted, “welcome to the club bro.” Earlier this month, Hill was criticized for calling Trump a “white supremacist who has largely surrounded himself w/ other white supremacists” and later lambasted by White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders for her remarks. Trump, meanwhile, demanded ESPN “apologize for untruth.”
More condemnations of Trump’s remarks about both the NFL and Steph Curry can be seen below.