After Donald Trump's comments regarding NFL protests on Friday, it's become increasingly common for athletes to come out and lambast the president of the United States, and the Philadelphia 76ers Ben Simmons has joined that list.
On Friday, president Trump came out and labeled NFL athletes who protest during the national anthem as "sons of bitches," and also said NFL owners should "fire" any player that does decide to protest. Trump only added to the fire the next day, uninviting Steph Curry and the Golden State Warriors from attending the White House for their championship celebrations after Curry said the team would not be attending.
“If we were in Australia right now, a lot of people would call him a d---head, and that’s how I personally feel.
“Some of the comments he’s just made about players, the NFL, the anthem,” Simmons said. “Everyone respects America, and everyone thinks America is a great country, but he’s the wrong person to be in charge of it.
“I think, as a man, you’re not supposed to be tweeting like that, saying remarks about women, what people should be doing, how you talk to leaders of other countries and putting America in a situation where it doesn’t need to be like that.
“He just brings more anger and hatred to the U.S. It’s unneeded.
“I think the U.S. is a great country. I love being here. I’m very appreciative of the job I’m in. I think he’s the wrong person to be in charge. He’s definitely not a leader.”
Simmons' teammate, J.J. Redick, also had some harsh words for the president:
"Our active, sitting president is calling NFL players ‘sons of bitches’ and is going after Steph Curry and LeBron (James), who have done more for sports and culture and African-American communities than anyone; it’s surreal,” Redick said to CSNPhilly's Amy Fadool and Marshall Harris. “I agree with what LeBron said; his use of the presidency and what it represents is not what it represented to me a year ago. It’s not what it represented to me with Barack Obama or George W. Bush or Bill Clinton. Those are the presidents that I knew as a young person and as an adult, and his presidency doesn’t represent that, the White House doesn’t represent that. So, of course, I agree with LeBron, I agree with what the Warriors are doing by not going to the White House. I don’t think any team should go to the White House; you’re actively saying, ‘I support this guy.’
"The other thing, too, is to speak out against Trump at this point is almost like eating breakfast. It’s what’s you should do — you should eat breakfast because it’s part of a daily, balanced diet. On the list of things that he’s done to offend me, his comments this week were like 87th. There’s more important things going on like North Korea and flood and disaster relief that we’re dealing with right now in Puerto Rico, Florida and Houston; those are the things that are important. So it’s mind-boggling that that’s what he’s spending his time on.”
As you can tell, the 76ers definitely aren't fans of Trump, as are most of the NBA, which isn't surprising in the least considering Trump's comments.
Don't expect Simmons and Redick to be the last players to have their say on Donald Trump either, you can bank on that.