Dallas Mavericks owner and businessman Mark Cuban says that President Donald Trump needs to be able to ‘take the blowback’ after criticizing the NFL and revoking a White House invitation to Golden State Warriors’ star Stephen Curry.
‘If the president’s going to say something condemning a person, an industry, a sport, then he’s got to be able to take the blowback that’s going to come back,’ Cuban told NBC News.
‘So LeBron [James] and Steph and any athlete, any owner, it’s an open door now, and so they have every right for the same reasons to be able to say whatever’s on their mind,’ he said. ‘Now we’ll be able to see if he can take it.’
The intersection between sports and politics got very busy over the weekend as Trump slammed both the NFL and NBA.
Dallas Mavericks owner and businessman Mark Cuban (center) said Donald Trump needs to be able to ‘take the blowback’ after the president criticized the NFL and Warriors star Steph Curry over the weekend
On Friday, Golden State star Stephen Curry said he didn’t want to go to the White House for the traditional visit by championship clubs to meet with the president.
The president spoke at a rally in Alabama that night and, among other things, bemoaned how some NFL players have knelt during The Star Spangled Banner to raise awareness about police treatment of blacks and other social injustice.
‘Total disrespect for everything we stand for,’ Trump said about the kneeling, adding that team owners should ‘get that son of a b**** off the field’ for protesting during the national anthem.
Saturday morning, Trump tweeted that Curry was no longer invited to the White House.
James weighed in with his tweet not long afterward, and the Warriors ultimately said that Trump beat them to the punch – the inference being they weren’t going to the White House anyway.
The intersection between sports and politics got very busy over the weekend as Trump slammed both the NFL and NBA
On Sunday, more than than 200 NFL players sat or kneeled during the Star Spangled Banner in defiance of Trump’s remarks.
The protests started with more than 20 players ‘taking a knee’ at Wembley Stadium in London before the Jacksonville Jaguars’ victory over the Baltimore Ravens.
Back in the States, the anthem was played at Nissan Stadium in Tennessee, with both the Titans and Seattle Seahawks squads remaining in the locker rooms.
Pittsburgh Steelers players remained in the tunnel prior to their game against the Chicago Bears, although Alejandro Villanueva, who served three tours in Afghanistan with the US army, stood alone in front of it.
Marc Short, the White House’s director of legislative affairs, defended the president’s comments on the NFL and NBA on Sunday.
The Cleveland Browns team stand and kneel during the National Anthem before the start of their game against the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium
He said it was ‘unfortunate’ that the Warriors were trying to ‘politicize’ their White House visit.
‘I think that the Warriors were the ones that first went out and said that they began criticizing the president,’ Short told Meet the Press. ‘If they don’t want to come to the White House, then the president says then, ‘Don’t come,”
Warriors coach Steve Kerr has also been one of Trump’s most searing critics from within the ranks of the NBA, describing him as a ‘blowhard.’
‘Frankly, I think it´s why Trump couldn´t be more ill-suited to be president, because he´s a blowhard,’ Kerr said earlier this year.
‘You don´t see some of the qualities you talk about, the resilience, the ability to communicate, the compassion. None of that… To be a great leader, there have to be some qualities in there.
‘Has anyone ever thought that Donald Trump was a great leader?’