LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — It was media day for both teams and many players and coaches are using their platform to voice opinions over Donald Trump being critical of players kneeling or standing during the national anthem.
The battle over standing during the national anthem was started last year by former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick who wanted to draw attention to how minorities are treated by police.
The president has continued to talk and tweet about the protests since he stepped into the debate on Friday saying the owners should tell the “son of a bitch…you’re fired” referring to players taking a knee or not standing during the national anthem.
The Lakers and Clippers opened training camps on Monday with their annual media day the anthem controversy was the main topic.
Lakers President of Basketball Operations Magic Johnson reacted to the weekend’s events.
“What I’m disappointed at is these young men who are saying ‘hey there are problems in our community in urban America’ and nobody’s looking to address these issues and problems,” Magic said.
At Clippers training camp in Playa Vista coach Doc Rivers had a message for the president.
“If Donald Trump did his job, players wouldn’t be kneeling, you know, at the end of the day,” Rivers said. “Because I don’t think anyone wants this country to do poorly, we all are cheering for this country to do well, so do your job and players will stop kneeling.”
Clippers forward Blake Griffin says it’s important for players to speak their minds.
“You have to respect people’s opinions,” Griffin said. “You don’t have to agree with it but you have to respect people’s opinions and I like that guys have been using their platforms to do just that.”