This president is no stranger to wars of words.
Pundits have predicted that one of his latest exchanges, with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, could land the country in a real war sooner than later, but try and keep up, because he’s already onto the next tongue lashing — targeting professional athletes.
He lumped anyone who kneels during the national anthem at a pro sporting event as a “son of a b---” who deserves to be fired Friday night at a campaign rally for Republican Alabama senator Luther Strange. Then he rescinded star point guard Steph Curry’s invitation to the White House as a member of the NBA champion Golden State Warriors on Saturday after Curry said he would vote no to the visit the night before.
Visits to the White House, under more normal circumstances, are good photo opportunities and public relations moments, both for the sitting president and for champions of each of the major sports.
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But his rapid-fire rhetoric has now brought Trump the ire of NFL and NBA figures in rapid succession. LeBron James’ tweet, telling Trump, “U Bum, @StephenCurry30 already said he ain’t going! So therefore ain’t no invite. Going to White House was a great honor until you showed up!” amassed 282,000 retweets in under three hours Saturday.
First, on his comments referring to “son of a bitch” NFL players kneeling during the national anthem, for which the now-unemployed Colin Kaepernick gets most credit, or blame, depending on your point of view. Kaepernick’s moother Teresa even chimed in:
Guess that makes me a proud bitch!— Teresa Kaepernick (@B4IleaveU) September 23, 2017
The behavior of the President is unacceptable and needs to be addressed. If you do not Condemn this divisive Rhetoric you are Condoning it!!— Richard Sherman (@RSherman_25) September 23, 2017
Where was Trumps "son of a bitch" comments when the racists gathered in Charlottesville?! He spoke about them in a respectable way smh— Jermon Bushrod (@j_bushrod7475) September 23, 2017
It's really sad man ... our president is a asshole— Lesean McCoy (@CutonDime25) September 23, 2017
Why is it that there is an issue with the idea of white supremacy but not the white supremacists themselves? 45 can’t condone them, when he is one of them. It will be interesting to see how the NFL owners who did donate to 45’s cause in the White House, will respond. Now is a time for players to take a stronger stand, no longer thinking it doesn’t involve them directly. When everyone goes out on that field to play, beliefs, ethnicities, religions, and way of life mean nothing. Being the best means everything. Football has provided purpose and direction to countless, and yet, the same field on which they have freedom to play, they don’t have the freedom to kneel to stand up for their own rights? When you are the majority group in a league, you have the power to change history. That requires our own boycotting of attending and watching games as well. Even if your organizations don’t stand behind you, we do. #StandWithKaep #BiggerThanTheGame #NFLBoycott #ItStartsWithUs
A post shared by Josh Powell (@josh21powell) on
Does anyone tell trump to stick to politics, like they tell us to stick to sports? Smh.— Eric Ebron (@Ebron85) September 23, 2017
#Kaepernick we riding with you bro ✊— Reggie Bush (@ReggieBush) September 23, 2017
We will never back down. We no longer can afford to stick to sports. pic.twitter.com/Ec3Bc4qt9h— DeMaurice Smith (@DeSmithNFLPA) September 23, 2017
And I doubt he's man enough to call any of those players a son of a bitch to their face...— Chris Paul (@CP3) September 23, 2017
Then, after Trump rescinded the (already rebuffed) invitation to Curry and the Warriors, not only did NBA players jump on the president, but so did several of their NFL counterparts and members of the media.
U bum @StephenCurry30 already said he ain't going! So therefore ain't no invite. Going to White House was a great honor until you showed up!— LeBron James (@KingJames) September 23, 2017
You can't be uninvited to something you weren't going to anyway pic.twitter.com/oZVmDn5ClH— Jemele Hill (@jemelehill) September 23, 2017
A #POTUS whose name alone creates division and anger. Whose words inspire dissension and hatred can't possibly "Make America Great Again"— Kobe Bryant (@kobebryant) September 23, 2017
With everything that's going on in our country, why are YOU focused on who's kneeling and visiting the White House??? #StayInYoLane— Chris Paul (@CP3) September 23, 2017
How you gonna withdraw an invite that somebody already said they weren't attending?— Bradley Beal (@RealDealBeal23) September 23, 2017
Back in the day when it used to mean something ♂️ pic.twitter.com/ZiM27G4rvd— Kelechi Osemele (@KOseven0) September 23, 2017
You won't @ him tho https://t.co/6qoP5zoe0y— James Michael McAdoo (@jamesmcadoo) September 23, 2017