Some Sacramento Kings fans attended Sunday night’s game against the Phoenix Suns wearing jerseys that made a controversial political statement by having the words “Build the Wall” and “Trump” written on the back of separate jerseys, 12Up is reporting.
A photo of two young men wearing the political messages — one wearing a “Build the Wall” jersey and the other a “Trump” one — was shared on social media following the Kings’ 117-104 win, the report shows. Social media users quickly reacted, with some defending the men’s right to wear what they wish to the game, and others arguing that their action spreads hate and deepens the divide in the country.
“This is NOT Sacramento. This is not what my city stands for or what we as fans stand for. This is pure hate. And it’s disgusting,” one user wrote on Twitter.
Another one responded on Twitter by writing, “I disagree with them but it’s not hate. They believe (apparently) that people should follow the law and procedure before coming here. I think the immigration law should be changed to make it easier to come here.”
As 12UP pointed out, California has consistently been a blue state, which suggests it is not entirely surprisingly that the two young men received criticism from local fans for their support of the president and his ideals.
Another Twitter user pointed out that the men’s opinions have been criticized by a host of NBA players, particularly African-Americans who oppose the way the feel that Trump refers to members of minority communities.
“[T]hey don’t represent the ideals of the majority of the city, and certainly not the NBA,” the user wrote in response to a thread that argues the men had every right to their own opinion.
Basketball players have made headlines for speaking up against the president since Trump entered the office. As the Chicago Tribune argued last year, Trump often uses African-American athletes as pawns in his race-baiting and culture wars. As many will recall, Trump called football players who knelt during the anthem in protest “sons of b**ches,” a speech that delighted an overwhelmingly white audience, the Chicago Tribune pointed out.
Trump has also ignited a war against the NBA, which perhaps peaked when he withdrew the invitation for the 2017 NBA champions — the Golden State Warriors — to attend the White House. This move prompted star LeBron James to strike back by calling the president a “bum” on Twitter, the Chicago Tribune report continued. Steph Curry and Kevin Durant both shared their support for James’ view, adding their own opinion against Trump into the mix.