US President Donald Trump recently weighed in on the never-ending LeBron James vs Michael Jordan debate while on Clay Travis’ Fox Sports radio show on Tuesday (Wednesday IST). Both James and Jordan are considered two of the best NBA players in history, and the president was asked about his pick in the long-standing comparison. Trump chose Michael Jordan over LeBron James, and also commented about politics in the NBA tipping the scales.
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Trump to Fox Sports: MJ or Lebron? : “Michael Jordan” adds “he wasn’t political so people like him better.”— Zeke Miller (@ZekeJMiller) August 11, 2020
While Trump chose to go with Michael Jordan, he added that since the Chicago Bulls legend was not political, people like him better. This comment was immediately traced back to the 1990 Senate race in Jordan's home state, North Carolina. The five-time NBA MVP had refused to promote Democrat Harvey Gantt, an African-American running against Republican Jesse Helms, who was known to make racist comments. Jordan, who was reigning the league after his first MVP award, refused to make a statement by saying, “Republicans buy sneakers, too”. While there was some backlash for the Bulls legend back then, the six-time NBA champion insisted that the comments were a joke during his recent ESPN documentary – The Last Dance.
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Following the Black Lives Movement sparked by George Floyd's death in May, Jordan pledged $100 million to racial justice causes in June. LeBron James, on the other hand, has been vocal about his political views and has continually spoken up about systemic racism in the country. One of James' recent initiatives was starting the voting group 'More Than a Vote', which will help black people cast their votes in November while also educating them about the process.
“They have enough politics with guys like me. They don’t need more," Trump said earlier this month. "There was a nastiness about the NBA and the way it was done. The NBA is in trouble. Big trouble.” These words come after Trump's own comments about the NBA and its stand related to the BLM movement at the bubble some days ago. He repeated his earlier words about basketball ratings having taken a hit because people are "angry" about the kneeling during the Star-Spangled Banner.
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Trump supported the NHL, whose initiative has little to do with the BLM wave. In the past, the US President has called out players for kneeling during the national anthem, referring to them as "sons of b**ches". He reiterated his views, saying that as they are earning millions playing the sport, they have to respect the flag and stand for it.
President Trump calls NBA players "disgraceful" for kneeling during anthem, implies that he's done more for the black community than Abraham Lincoln pic.twitter.com/C5YJW3pAps— gifdsports (@gifdsports) August 5, 2020
Around a week ago, Trump had referred to NBA players as "disgraceful" for kneeling during the national anthem when they resumed their season on July 30. Trump referred to the players' actions as "disgraceful", saying that they work with the NBA and it is not "acceptable" to him that they choose to kneel. He added that when he sees the players kneel, he turns off the game since he is no longer interested. LeBron James was quick to react to Trump's comments, saying that he does not think any of the players are bothered by Trump's decision to stop watching NBA games.
LeBron James on Donald Trump saying he won’t watch any more NBA games because people have kneeled to protest systemic racism during the national anthem: “I really don’t think the basketball community are sad about losing his viewership.” pic.twitter.com/l9sP7LiFsi— Mark Medina (@MarkG_Medina) August 6, 2020
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