At a campaign rally held by Donald Trump on Monday, chants of “LeBron James sucks!” rang out in the crowd after the president accused members of the NBA of not respecting the American flag, as reported by TMZ.
Trump talked about how much the NBA Finals ratings had declined in 2020. He said it was caused by the social activism the players were displaying on the court. He even mentioned the Los Angeles Lakers superstar by name in his speech.
“”How about basketball? How about Lebron? I felt badly for LeBron. I felt very badly. Down 71 percent and that’s for their championship,” he remarked.
“When they don’t respect our country, when they dont respect our flag, nobody wants to watch. Nobody!” he added before the chants ensued.
Professional basketball ratings, specifically in the Finals, reached an all-time low in 2020, according to a report from Yahoo Sports. Overall, the championship games between the Miami Heat and the Los Angeles Lakers saw 48 percent fewer viewers compared to last year.
There are a number of different reasons as to why the drop occurred. While some blame it on the teams taking a stand on social justice movements, others say that the unusual timing of the games may be the cause. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Playoffs took place in October rather than in June, meaning the NBA was competing for viewers across several sports.
During his most recent rally in Pennsylvania, the president also tried to talk about the NFL taking a stand in regards to the Black Lives Matter movement. However, before he could make his point, the crowd began chanting against the 35-year-old basketball legend.
Trump seemed to approve of the support he was getting and addressed the group with encouragement.
“What a crowd! What a crowd!” he exclaimed as he smiled.
The four-time NBA champion is not the only celebrity Trump has ridiculed on his journey for re-election. He also threw shade at Beyoncé for backing the Democratic Party, according to a report from the Independent.
He also recently got into a heated argument with pop singer Lady Gaga on social media. In a statement released by Trump’s communications director Tim Murtaugh on Twitter, he labeled Gaga as an “anti-fracking activist” and said that Joe Biden had forgotten the “working men and women” of Pennsylvania.
The 34-year-old musician wasted no time firing back at the president, and did so quite sarcastically in a tweet.
“IM GLAD TO BE LIVING RENT FREE in your HEAD,” she wrote as she tagged Trump directly.