Trump won't hold socially distanced rallies: 'You can't have empty seats' – US politics live
Donald Trump has waded into the anthem debate as well as the long-running conversation over the merits of LeBron James and Michael Jordan during a call to Clay Travis’ Fox Sports radio show on Tuesday.
Jordan and James are often held up as the two greatest players of the modern NBA era, and the president was asked whom he preferred. “Michael Jordan, plus he wasn’t political so people like him better,” Trump said.
Jordan has been derided for his perceived reluctance to speak out on politics. During a 1990 Senate race in his home state of North Carolina, Jordan refused to endorse Democrat Harvey Gantt, an African American who was running against the incumbent Republican Jesse Helms, a notorious racist. Jordan, who at the time had already won the first of his five NBA MVP awards, explained away his refusal to take a stance by saying “Republicans buy sneakers, too”.
In the recent ESPN documentary The Last Dance, Jordan insisted the comment was a joke. In June, he donated $100m to racial justice causes, and has spoken about the “ingrained racism” of the United States. James, meanwhile, is a long-time critic of the president and has often spoken out about racial injustice in the United States.
Trump also spoke about politics in the NBA more generally. The league has close ties with Black Lives Matters and most of its players have knelt during the anthem following the season’s restart this summer.
“It’s been horrible for basketball. Look at the basketball ratings. People ...
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