At a time when the NBA world should be fixated on a fourth consecutive Finals between the Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers, stars on both teams are speaking out on the National Anthem controversy.
Having brewed in the background for some time now, President Donald Trump’s decision to disinvite the defending Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles to the White House has been met with criticism from the sports world.
For his part, LeBron James noted on Tuesday that neither the Warriors nor the Cavaliers would visit POTUS following the Finals. He also shaded the president in a big way (more on that here).
In talking about a controversy that’s lasted longer than most of us would like, two-time NBA MVP Stephen Curry decided to take an underhanded shot at the NFL while showing support for his league.
Curry was asked about whether he knew the NBA rule currently on the books that states players have to stand for the anthem. His response was interesting.
— NBA TV (@NBATV) June 5, 2018
“Honestly, I didn’t know that rule. I would assume that if someone wanted to demonstrate or protest during the anthem, that there would be an opportunity to have that discussion,” Curry said.
The potential 2018 NBA Finals MVP also noted that no player has brought this up around the Association. In doing so, he seemingly shaded the NFL itself.
“Overall, just thinking about how the league (NBA) has supported players and we’ve had that open dialogue, I’m happy to be playing in this league and know that we can speak on what we believe without people breathing down your neck and that’s a good environment to come to work in.
This is all in response to NFL owners voting to force players to either stand for the anthem or remain in the locker room starting next season. Curry didn’t mention the NFL by name. But it’s rather obvious what he meant here.
As to where the NFL has given in to President Trump on the anthem issue, those around the NBA remain outspoken in opposition of POTUS.
It’s just a continuation of a rift between the White House and the basketball world that has existed since the Warriors themselves didn’t meet with Trump following their title last year.