Donald Trump is on the offensive with a Twitter attack against Stephen Curry but a legendary figure in the sports scene, along with a host of other personalities, has come to the defense of the NBA star.
When Trump withdrew a White House invitation to Stephen Curry and perhaps the Golden State Warriors, Kobe Bryant took to Twitter on Saturday to voice out his disgust.
“A POTUS whose name alone creates division and anger,” Kobe wrote. “Whose words inspire dissension and hatred can’t possibly Make America Great Again.”
Kobe, who’s known for speaking his mind on the basketball court during his career, didn’t mince words in condemning the latest controversial decision by the leader of the nation.
Curry earlier said that he would vote against a visit to the White House. The Warriors were scheduled to meet on Saturday to make a team decision with regards to the invitation. The latest Twitter snafu by Trump, however, made it easier for the NBA champions, who said they were unconcerned with the withdrawal.
Draymond Green also explained that the Warriors stance on a possible White House invitation was “strengthened” by what happened in Charlottesville.
Warriors coach Steve Kerr, who’s been critical of Trump, seemed to be in a jolly mood when interviewed about the disinvitation. He said he was not surprised with the withdrawal.
“He was going to break up with us before we could break up with him.”
Kerr also responded with “No, because there were many fine people on both sides” when asked if things changed after the Charlottesville violence.
Kobe and the Warriors weren’t the only ones to call out Trump for his recent actions against athletes. LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers, considered the heir to the NBA throne vacated by the now-retired Kobe, called Trump a “bum” before saying that “going to the White House was a great honor until you showed up!”
LeBron later elaborated on his “U bum” tweet. In a video posted on Instagram, James said that he reached a point of frustration after Trump used sports as a platform to divide the nation.
“It’s not something I can stand for and it’s not something I can be quiet about,” James said.
David West of the Warriors echoed James’ sentiment when he said that “the [worse] thing you can do is be quiet.” West also said that Trump’s attack on Colin Kaepernick “just didn’t make sense.”
“I don’t think anything he does make sense,” West continued. “I don’t think there’s anything he’s done that you can look at and tell your children. ‘You can emulate this.'”
Trump earlier used an expletive to describe athletes like Kaepernick who take a knee to protest racial injustice and police brutality against black people. He also said these athletes should be fired for refusing to stand during the national anthem. Trump also encouraged fans to leave the stadium once a player kneels in protest.
Chris Paul of the Houston Rockets also called Trump out on social media. Paul questioned Trump on why his sights are trained on “who’s kneeling and visiting the White House” instead of focusing on “everything that’s going on with the country.”
“I doubt he’s man enough to call any of those players [expletive] to their face,” Paul continued.
J.R. Smith, a teammate of LeBron at Cleveland, tweeted “Barrack Obama, we need you back ASAP.”
NBA commissioner Adam Silver has released an official statement regarding the issue with Trump and the White House invitation. The statement mentioned that Silver was in favor of the Warriors going to the White House to continue the tradition of champion teams paying the POTUS a visit. Silver took this as a wasted opportunity for the NBA players to engage Trump in a discussion regarding their concerns on how the president is running the country.
Silver also expressed his pride for the active role the players are taking with regards to the community as well as with issues that he described as critically important.
Outside of the sports industry, other celebrities have chimed in on the latest brouhaha Trump brought upon himself. Stevie Wonder and his son Kwame Morris took a knee “for America” when he performed at the Global Citizen Festival in New York.
Singer John Legend also tweeted against Trump saying, “perhaps it’s not a great honor while your stench is there.”
ESPN’s Jemelle Hill also chimed in. Hill, who’s coming off a controversial Twitter attack on Trump herself, sided with Curry saying, “you can’t be uninvited to something you weren’t going to anyway.”
[Featured Image by Evan Vucci/AP Images]