Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert says he received racist voicemails after LeBron’s Trump tweet

Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert says LeBron James‘ tweet that called President Donald Trump a “bum” prompted his phone to be flooded with messages that served as an eye-opener for Gilbert as to the state the country is in.

“I received voicemails after LeBron tweeted that were some of the most vile, disgusting, racist [messages],” Gilbert said Friday as a guest on CNBC’s “Squawk Box.” “There’s an element of racism that I didn’t even realize existed in this country this much.”

James criticized Trump last weekend after the president rescinded his invitation to the Golden State Warriors to celebrate their NBA championship with a visit to the White House.

U bum @StephenCurry30 already said he ain’t going! So therefore ain’t no invite. Going to White House was a great honor until you showed up!

James also took issue with Trump calling out NFL players for kneeling during the national anthem as a form of protest, declaring, “The thing that frustrated me, pissed me off: He was using the sports platform to divide us.”

Gilbert said he saved the voicemails but hadn’t told James about them yet, adding that by mentioning them on television, the Cavs superstar obviously would find out.

“The thing is, I mean, some of the most disgusting things I’ve ever heard people say,” Gilbert said. “And you could hear it in their voice — the racism. It wasn’t even really about the issue, and that’s what really got me, because they went to who they really are, some of them.”

James and Gilbert have had their ups and downs. In June, James posted a video on Uninterrupted in which he revealed that his mother, Gloria James, was still upset with Gilbert four years after her son left the Cavs and did not endorse him leaving Miami to go back to Cleveland. However, multiple sources told ESPN that Gilbert and James were in touch more this offseason than they had been during any other offseason during their professional relationship, which has spanned a decade and a half.

Gilbert has been associated with Trump in the past after his company, Quicken Loans, donated $750,000 to the president’s inauguration party. He was called a “great friend” and “huge supporter” by Trump when Gilbert happened to be visiting the White House the same June day the Chicago Cubs were honored for their World Series win. Gilbert issued a statement this week seeking to clarify his political leanings.

“Our interests are in the policies at the federal level, and not the politics surrounding the elections,” the statement read in part. “We have often supported both political parties in the same election so that we have the ability to impact positive change, regardless of who occupies the offices.”

Both Gilbert and his wife made $75,000 personal donations to the campaign of Hillary Clinton — whom James publicly endorsed — and Gilbert made a significant financial contribution to one of Trump’s opponents for the Republican nomination, Chris Christie.

“Our focus with any office holder or politician is about the communication of the still substantial needs of our former rust-belt cities that are now finally beginning the road to recovery and growth that other parts of America have been experiencing for a long period of time,” the Gilbert statement continued, referring specifically to Detroit and Cleveland, where the majority of Cavs owner’s businesses are located.

Gilbert also voiced support for James’ and other athletes’ political outspokenness.

“Professional athletes, owners and the leagues themselves, as well as the country, would greatly benefit from an open, inclusive dialogue that would allow the expression of all views and concerns that have recently become hot topics in professional sports,” the statement said.

After hearing James elaborate on his position against Trump at the Cavs’ annual media day Monday, Gilbert told staffers he was “proud” of the star for his willingness to take a stand.


Shock Report: NFL’s Oakland Raiders Threw Game After White QB Refused To Kneel For National Anthem


By Alex Thomas

A new report from The Armstrong and Getty Radio Show has sent shockwaves throughout the sports world after it was claimed that members of the NFL’s Oakland Raiders may have purposefully allowed their star quarterback to get sacked multiple times after he refused to kneel during the National Anthem.

If true, this would essentially mean that an NFL football game was illegally thrown over anger that one of the teams star white players did not believe that kneeling during the nation’s anthem was the correct way to protest supposed racial injustice in America.

In other words, an epic level scandal.

During the anthem, virtually the entire team was seen kneeling other than the teams coaches and star quarterback Derek Carr. Unfortunately, this may have not set well with the team’s offensive line as they were apparently the players who spearheaded the entire idea to kneel as a team in the first.

“This is one hell of a scandal with the NFL, could ruin the whole league,” claimed the show before detailing the fact that Carr was sacked two times in a row on the teams second drive and that the team’s usually dependable center snapped the ball at the wrong time in three different instances. Extremely capable receivers also made multiple “weird” drops of passes thrown by Carr that T.V. announcers even noted at the time.

The radio show then revealed bombshell “insider information” from an “extremely reliable” source who claimed that members of the Oakland Raiders did indeed throw the game as a sort of punishment for Carr choosing to not use the countries anthem to make a political statement.

“He wants to stand alone, he can stand alone on the field,” one of the teams offensive lineman said, according to the shows source. Keep in mind, the offensive line are literally the guys whose job it is to protect the quarterback, in this case the star player who didn’t kneel.

Amazingly, the circumstantial (and possible direct) proof didn’t end there as the show then claimed that this same source also revealed that a local team reporter got wind of the story and asked a team official for comment. What he was apparently told in response has all the hallmarks of a team trying to cover up a major scandal.

“If you report on this, you will be blackballed, you will not get access to the Raiders period,” the reporter was supposedly told. “Your career covering the team will be over”.

While there are obviously major legal and ethical issues if this is true, it also paints a sad picture of a football league divided by a political and media establishment all too happy to cause as much racial divide in the country as possible. For as long as Americans focus on differences between each other, the global elites power remains completely unthreatened.


Additional Reading:

Authors Note: Its also important to consider that there is almost no chance that any member of the Raiders organization, whether coaches, the front office, or players (especially Carr himself) will publicly admit that this happened if it is indeed true. The sheer amount of mayhem it would cause is enough to keep almost anyone quiet. Anonymous player quotes and sources may be all we will ever have to go on.

This article originally appeared on The Daily Sheeple.

Titans’ Delanie Walker (Nigger): family has received death threats

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) Tennessee Titans tight end Delanie Walker says he and his family have received death threats since he told fans not to come to games if they felt disrespected by NFL players’ protests.

The Pro Bowl tight end shared the ”heartbreaking” threats Thursday night in a social media post.

”The racist and violent words directed at me and my son only serve as another reminder that our country remains divided and full of hateful rhetoric,” Walker wrote. ”These words of hate will only fuel me in my efforts to continue my work reaching out to different community groups, listening to opposing voices, and honoring the men and women in the Armed Forces who risk their lives every day so that we may have this dialogue.”

Walker and the Tennessee Titans joined the Seattle Seahawks in staying inside their locker rooms during the national anthem last weekend, and Walker walked out arm in arm with quarterback Marcus Mariota. On Monday, Walker tried to make clear he supports the military in a protest that is seeking equal rights.

”And the fans that don’t want to come to the games, OK, bye,” Walker said Monday. ”I mean if you feel that’s something where we’re disrespecting you, don’t come to the games. You don’t have to. No one is telling you to come to the game. It’s your freedom and your choice to do that.”

The Titans had no comment Thursday night.

Walker took part this spring in the NFL’s USO Tour of the Middle East. He said in his statement he gained an even greater appreciation for the men and women who defend American values. He said he used strong words in defending the Titans’ right to make their own choices.

He wrote that it’s his choice to try to spark conversation for positive change and fans’ choice to attend Titans’ games, a U.S. freedom so envied around the world.

”I am proud to represent the many faces of Titans fans and believe that only through a more respectful discourse can we achieves the goals of unity, peace and racial equality that I know we all strive for,” Walker said.

Walker isn’t the only NFL player dealing with a backlash from protesting.

Detroit Lions defensive tackle Akeem Spence shared on Twitter earlier Thursday that his father, a contractor, was denied a job on a house due to his protest. He was among the Lions who took a knee before their game against Atlanta.

How to make money from the NFL’s ratings debacle as anthem protests grow

NFL ratings are struggling right now, as President Donald Trump continues to stoke the flames of a red-hot debate over national anthem protests, while the actual on-field product has also left something to be desired.

But fear not, football fans — JPMorgan knows how you can make a pretty penny off the league’s woes.

It involves making a short-term bet that shares of CBS will drop. The most-watched US television network and home to multiple games a week, CBS serves as a bellwether of sorts for NFL viewership.

JPMorgan specifically recommends purchasing weekly put contracts that will start making money if CBS shares decline roughly 1% to $57.50 by expiration on October 6.

While it’s still too early to know if Trump’s inflammatory comments and the defiant league-wide response will have a material impact on ratings, this week’s upcoming slate of games could provide a much better idea. As such, JPMorgan figures it can’t hurt to be prepared in the event of a major downswing.

“Any potential NFL boycott is more likely to be determined in this weekend’s results,” Shawn Quigg, an equity derivatives strategist at JPMorgan, wrote in a client note. “Investors likely could cite the anthem debate for any weak viewership results, adding to existing viewership concerns. Thus, the greater reward-risk appears skewed to the downside in the near-term as weaker results may mobilize investors to take the potential impact more seriously.”

For an example of how quickly NFL dynamics have shifted since protests have gotten more widespread, JPMorgan cites the spike in jersey sales for Pittsburgh Steeler offensive lineman Alejandro Villanueva. He was the only Steeler on the field for the national anthem this past Sunday, and the firm says that may suggest fans favor it when players stand for the anthem.

While that’s certainly a lot to extrapolate from one instance, making JPMorgan’s suggested options wager could pay off even if ratings decline for other reasons. After all, even before the number of protests grew this past week, there were already worries that declining viewershipcould hamper future profitability for NFL TV partners.

CBS shares rose 0.6% to $58.35 at 2:29 pm EST.

First-time NFL protesters explain how they became woke

When he set out to challenge NFL protesters, Donald Trump took the opposite tack. He put up a billboard.

The president essentially called out-of-work quarterback Colin Kaepernick “an SOB” for taking a knee to protest racial injustice during the national anthem.

And any player who followed him?

“Fire ’em!” Trump said.

He may have wound up inspiring them instead.

Almost all of the 200 players who took part in protests during Sunday’s games were doing so for the first time. They became “woke.” In follow-up interviews, Seattle coach Pete Carroll and linebackers Von Miller of Denver and Lorenzo Alexander of Buffalo discussed why their thinking changed, what they hoped to accomplish and whether they intend to continue protesting.

Not everyone kneeled, a gesture Kaepernick began during the Obama administration, when he still had a job and few followers.

This time, there was plenty of support and their defiance ran the gamut, from raising fists to staying seated to not showing up for the national anthem.

There were loud discussions in some locker rooms before teams arrived at a consensus about what to do.

They were greeted by boos in more than one stadium. Some teams issued statements explaining their decisions. Eight owners linked arms with their players. Even Tom Brady got involved.

“We understand why people are upset about it,” Carroll said . “It is not about denigration of the flag, the country or anything that stands for. It’s not about that at all.

“It’s about trying to get your feelings out and your ideas across. Protests, just by the nature of the word, not everybody is going to agree — that’s why it’s a protest,” he added.

Following are lightly edited transcripts:

Pete Carroll, 66, coach, Seattle Seahawks: “This isn’t about the kind of salaries they make; they’re very fortunate to be where they are and they know it and they have the courage to speak out.

“I think it’s extraordinary that this is happening and I think it’s a moment that we all can learn what we want to learn out of this. I hope we learn about empathy, to listen, to come to an understanding what someone else feels without passing judgement. It doesn’t mean you’re going to agree. That’s OK. That’s OK.

“Hopefully, like I said, the compassion part will come about in the proper manner and there will be action taken and there will be movement made, and we’ll come to an understanding. It’s hard. It’s hard, but it’s good.

“Sports has always been the uniter. It has never been the divider, it’s been the uniter. And to make it something other than that is a terrible mistake because it’s an institution in our culture and in others around the world.

“It demonstrates all of the beautiful things about culture and all of the beautiful things about bringing people together from different backgrounds and all and rallying for common goals.”

Von Miller, 28, linebacker, Denver Broncos: “Me and my teammates, we felt like President Trump’s speech was an assault on our most cherished right, freedom of speech.

“Collectively, we felt like we had to do something for this game, if not any other game, if not in the past, in the future. At this moment in time, we felt like, as a team, we had to do something. We couldn’t just let things go.

“I have a huge respect for the military, our protective services and everything. I’ve been to Afghanistan; I’ve met real-life superheroes. It wasn’t any disrespect to them, it was for our brothers that have been attacked for things that they do during the game, and I felt like I had to join them on it.

“I felt like it was an attack on the National Football League as well. You know, he went on and talked about ratings. This is my life, and I love everything about the National Football League. From the commissioner, all the way down to the field tech guys and the chefs in the kitchen.

“I try to keep out any politics or social issues and just try to play ball. But I feel like it was an attack on us.

“If I’m not going to do anything in the future, if I haven’t done anything in the past, I feel like this was the time to do something.”

Lorenzo Alexander, 34, linebacker, Buffalo Bills: “Me taking a knee doesn’t change the fact that I support our military. I’m a patriot and I love my country. But I also recognize there are some social injustices in this country. I wanted to take a knee in support of my brothers who have been doing it.

“I won’t continue to do it, but I just wanted to show them that I was with them — especially in the backdrop of our president making the comments about our players, about their mothers.

“And then you put that in conjunction with how he tried to gray-area neo-Nazism and KKK members as being fine people, I had to take a knee.

“And I was very emotional about it all day. It wasn’t like a knee jerk reaction. I really had to think about what I wanted to do today. People always say words never hurt, but words are very divisive, and it creates a lot of issues domestically and internationally. He needs to really control himself.”

Trump Calls Dallas Cowboys’ Anthem Demonstration ‘Progress’

A day after most of the N.F.L. engaged in at least some form of demonstration during the national anthem, the Dallas Cowboys, along with the team’s owner, Jerry Jones, linked arms on the University of Phoenix Stadium field Monday night and collectively took a knee before the anthem was played.

The Arizona Cardinals, the Cowboys’ opponent, linked arms in the end zone with some military personnel, and by the time the pop star Jordin Sparks had begun singing the anthem, Mr. Jones and his team’s players had moved to the sideline and were standing with linked arms. The crowd, which had booed as the Cowboys were kneeling, let out some loud cheers at various points during the song.

While the booing heard on television was fairly mild, President Trump took to Twitter on Tuesday morning to claim that the reaction in the stadium showed that fans are angry about any sort of demonstration, and he claimed the team standing up when the anthem was played showed “progress”.

After the hubbub of the dramatic opening had died down, the Cowboys beat the Cardinals, 28-17, as Dak Prescott threw two touchdown passes and ran for another, while DeMarcus Lawrence chipped in with three sacks and numerous quarterback hits.

Mr. Jones addressed the news media after the game, saying he had never been more proud of his organization. He said he believed the demonstration was not a departure from his previous comments in which he had said he would not tolerate players protesting during the anthem, and that the team was unified in that regard.

“It was real easy for everyone in our organization to see that the message of unity or equality was being pushed aside or diminished by the controversy,” he said.

Mr. Jones declined to comment directly on Mr. Trump’s recent comments about the N.F.L., saying, “I made my mind up on this issue that I wasn’t going to comment other than I’m very proud of the fact that the Dallas Cowboys and our players have always stood for the flag and the recognition for the flag always.”

Dallas Coach Jason Garrett opened a discussion of the pre-game demonstration by saying, “It’s been an interesting 48 hours for everybody.”

Mr. Garrett went on to describe a series of meetings between players, coaches and ownership before the game. “The objectives as much as anything else,” he said, “were to somehow, some way demonstrate unity and demonstrate equality and do so without involving, in any way, the national anthem.”

The demonstration at the beginning of ESPN’s broadcast of “Monday Night Football” showed that the league was continuing to express solidarity in the wake of comments by Mr. Trump, at a political rally in Alabama and in Twitter posts, about how any players that kneel or sit during the anthem should be fired. The situation escalated over the weekend, with Mr. Trump retweeting posts calling for a boycott of the N.F.L.

Most of the league’s owners have supported their players’ protests or demonstrations, either through statements to the news media or by standing with the players on the field during the playing of the anthem. Mr. Jones, however, was the first owner to kneel with his players.

Before the demonstration on Monday, no Cowboys players had participated in any sort of anthem protest, and Mr. Jones had indicated he preferred that remain the case.

“I do not think the place to express yourself in society is as we recognize the American flag,” he said last week in an interview with Fox Business. “So that’s not the place to do anything other than honor the flag and everybody that’s given up a little bit for it.”

But with Mr. Trump’s rhetoric against the league escalating, the decision was made on Monday for the Cowboys to make a statement as a team.

The reaction online was mixed, with some people impressed by Mr. Jones’s supporting his players and others saying the demonstration lost some weight because it came before the anthem. Many on social media pointed out how much vitriol the Cowboys had received in some corners despite standing for the anthem, which was interpreted by some as an indication that those complaining about the demonstration were not solely concerned about respect for the flag or anthem.

Throughout the wave of protests, the N.F.L. has stood by its players. Joe Lockhart, the league’s executive vice president of communications and public affairs, addressed the issue during a conference call on Monday, telling reporters, “Everyone should know, including the president, this is what real locker room talk is.”

Various players addressed the protests on Monday, the most prominent being New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, who explained his rationale for locking arms with a teammate.

“If you don’t agree, that is fine,” Mr. Brady said in a radio interview. “You can voice your disagreement, I think that is great. It’s part of our democracy. As long as it is done in a peaceful, respectful way, that is what our country has been all about.”

The Arizona Cardinals locked arms with coaches, training staff, and some military personnel in the end zone during the playing of the anthem. CreditJennifer Stewart/Getty Images

One of the few players to express regret for Sunday’s actions was Ben Roethlisberger, the quarterback of the Pittsburgh Steelers, who claimed a miscommunication had led to his teammate, Alejandro Villanueva, being singled out as the only player seen from the field while the rest of the team remained in the tunnel before Pittsburgh’s game against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field.

“The idea was to be unified as a team when so much attention is paid to things dividing our country, but I wish we approached it differently,” Mr. Roethlisberger wrote in a statement posted to his personal website. “We did not want to appear divided on the sideline with some standing and some kneeling or sitting.”

With some form of demonstration occurring at every game on Sunday and Monday, the question going forward is whether the protests will persist into next week and beyond. The first glimpse of what may happen will come on Thursday night when the Chicago Bears travel to Green Bay to face the Packers.

Pennsylvania fire chief calls Steelers coach Mike Tomlin a ‘no-good nigger’ over NFL protests


A fire chief from Pennsylvania has apologized for calling Steelers coach Mike Tomlin a “no-good n*gger” after his team did not come out onto the field for the national anthem during this Sunday’s game against the Chicago Bears.

CBS Pittsburgh reports that Paul Smith, the chief of the volunteer fire department in Cecil Township, Pennsylvania, posted on Facebook that Tomlin “just added himself to the list of no-good n*ggers” for his decision to note take the field during the anthem.

“Yes, I said it,” Smith added afterward.

Many people in the town reacted angrily to Smith’s post, and said it was inappropriate for a town official to spout racism.

“I’m completely upset, especially for a town like this, coming from the fire chief, that’s disrespectful in my eyes,” said Cecil Township resident Dylan Pareso. “I don’t agree with it one bit.”
Smith apparently realized that he’d made a big mistake, as he quickly sent a message to CBS Pittsburgh apologizing for his racist rant.

“I am embarrassed at this,” he said. “I want to apologize. I was frustrated and angry at the Steelers not standing the anthem. This had nothing to do with my Fire Department. I regret what I said.”

Cowboys and Cardinals lock arms in anthem protests


(CNN) The Dallas Cowboys and Arizona Cardinals on Monday night locked arms with teammates in response to President Donald Trump’s caustic comments. But it was the scripture reference on the hand of the woman belting out the National Anthem that resonated with many.

The scripture, written on the hand of pop star Jordin Sparks, is Proverbs 31: 8-9: “Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.” Many took to social media to praise Sparks.
The Cowboys’ and Cardinals’ display came after a weekend in which Trump slammed the National Football League and players for protesting during the anthem. Players and coaches responded Sunday by kneeling, locking arms or remaining in the locker room during pregame performances of “The Star-Spangled Banner.”
Members of the Cowboys and Cardinals stood in separate locations for the anthem. The teams had talked about a collective display of unity but did not do so, said ESPN sideline reporter Lisa Salters. No member of either team was shown in the televised broadcast kneeling or sitting.
Before Sparks’ rendition, the Cowboys, including owner Jerry Jones, knelt in the middle of the field. Boos could be heard from the crowd in Glendale, Arizona.
The players’ demonstration was intended as a statement for equality and a representation of unity, but they wanted to separate that message from the National Anthem, according to Salters, who spoke with Jones’ daughter, Charlotte Jones Anderson, the Cowboys’ executive vice president.
As the Cardinals players, coaches and owners gathered in the end zone, arms locked, to honor the flag and members of the armed forces, public address announcer Jim Barnett invited the crowd to “unite as well and do the same with your fellow fans, regardless of jersey color.”

‘An individual right of an American’

Earlier, Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians said it’s up to players to decide whether to stand or kneel during the anthem. “That is an individual right of an American,” he said.
Cowboys coach Jason Garrett was reticent when questioned by reporters.
“We have an approach that we believe in, and no real comment beyond that,” he said.
Ravens, Jaguars kneel during national anthem

Ravens, Jaguars kneel during national anthem 00:40
They kept grilling him. Will the players do anything? Has there been a discussion?
“No,” Garrett said, drawing an awkward silence as reporters waited for him to elaborate. He didn’t.
Another journalist asked: Did Garrett not have an opinion on the protests, or was he simply reluctant to share it?
“I just don’t think it’s in anyone’s best interests for me to comment on that,” he said.
With that, the press conference moved on to football matters. It’s worth noting though that the man who signs Garrett’s paychecks has been vocal about the anthem protests.
Last year, when then-San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick saw only a modicum of support for the anthem protests he’s pioneered, Cowboys owner Jones told a Fort Worth radio station that such demonstrations were “really disappointing.”
Jones reiterated those sentiments last week, telling Fox Business that the pregame National Anthem wasn’t the time for players to express themselves in society.
“That’s not the place to do anything other than honor the flag and everybody that’s given up a little for it,” he said.

‘Most reputable men I’ve ever met’

Trump responds after a day of NFL protests

Trump responds after a day of NFL protests 01:02
Cowboys players, in their public statements, have largely trod the middle ground on the issue, while at least two Cardinals declined to rule out the possibility of protesting.
Arians has said he concurs with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, who called Trump’s remarks divisive and said they demonstrate “an unfortunate lack of respect for the NFL” and its players.
“I’ve been in locker rooms for 25 years, and some of the most reputable men I’ve ever met wear that uniform,” Arians said. “To even overcome the things in their life to get to the NFL is amazing. What they’ve done in the last month for hurricane relief victims speaks volumes of what we’re all about in the NFL.”
Offensive lineman D.J. Humphries was less diplomatic, declining to call Trump by his name.
“You can’t talk to that person,” he said. “You’re talking to a wall. You may as well talk to my locker because you’re going to get the same response … I hate that this happened. I’m just trying to figure a way that I can help my people, and help the people on this side of the spectrum understand right and wrong.”
Humphries echoed the words of defensive end Frostee Rucker, who said now is the time to come together and “show compassion, love and everything else we do.”
“It’s a brotherhood in the locker room. We’re out in the community, and we know ourselves. We know everything we’re about. We can’t let one single person, even though it’s the President, dictate how we feel. We stick together. We’re in a union. If someone takes a knee, it’s almost like we all take a knee.”

Trump: Players should not ‘disrespect’ flag

NFL fans split over anthem controversy

NFL fans split over anthem controversy 01:40
The latest chapter in the controversy came Friday night when Trump told those attending a political rally in Alabama that NFL owners should fire any “son of a bitch” who stages a protest during the National Anthem.
The President’s focus remained on sports Saturday morning, as he tweeted he was rescinding a White House invitation for the NBA champion Golden State Warriors because two-time league MVP Steph Curry was “hesitating” in accepting the presidential offer. (Curry actually had flat-out declined the invitation.)
Hours later, the President went back in on athletes following in the knee prints of Kaepernick, who has said he refuses to stand during the anthem because he cannot “show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color.”
Read Trump’s two-part tweet: “If a player wants the privilege of making millions of dollars in the NFL, or other leagues, he or she should not be allowed to disrespect our Great American Flag (or Country) and should stand for the National Anthem. If not, YOU’RE FIRED. Find something else to do!”
Trump went on to make the protests his cause du jour — or more accurately, de deux jours — as 15 of his next 23 tweets over the weekend addressed the demonstrations.
His stance gained traction among his base and some NFL fans, who took to social media to tell athletes to stick to sports and skip the politics. Others used hashtags such #standforouranthem and #standfortheflag, tweeting that they were going to follow Trump’s advice to tune out.

‘That offends everybody’

Rex Ryan Trump NFL pissed orig vstan dlewis_00003104

Ex-NFL coach who backed Trump: ‘I’m pissed’ 01:02
Within the NFL there was a starkly different response, which was also reflected on social media and in some fan bases. Trump’s criticism seemed to galvanize the league’s players and coaches.
In some cases, team owners showed up on the sideline to lock arms with their players. Trump supporter Shad Khan, who owns the Jacksonville Jaguars, was one of them. Trump friend Robert Kraft stood in the owners box, hand over heart, before his New England Patriots played, but he said he was “deeply disappointed” in Trump’s remarks.
New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees called Trump’s remarks “unbecoming of the office of the President,” while Buffalo Bills running back LeSean McCoy said the President “is just acting like a jerk.”
Miami Dolphins safety Mike Thomas asked, “You’re the leader of the free world, and this is what you’re talking about?”
No. 55 Terrell Suggs and Baltimore Ravens legend Ray Lewis, in suit, kneel before Sunday's game.

The Seattle Seahawks and Tennessee Titans followed the Steelers’ lead, staying in the locker room for the anthem. Most teams chose to lock arms in a show of unity, but even among those squads, some players opted to kneel. The Baltimore Ravens’ Terrell Suggs and the Denver Broncos’ Von Miller lent their considerable star power to the protests, kneeling along with dozens of others players.
Bob Costas on NFL protests (full interview)

Bob Costas on NFL protests (full interview) 15:01
Sports commentator Bob Costas told CNN on Monday the response among players and coaches was “universal” and said, “There’s almost no one in the NFL who wants to support or rationalize the tone or content of President Trump’s remarks.”
Asked why he felt Trump’s words united the league when the protests have been going on for more than a year, Costas compared the President’s remarks on the anthem protests to his words after white nationalists marched in Charlottesville, Virginia.
“Well, when you call people sons of bitches across the board, that offends everybody. White and black, they’ve stood shoulder to shoulder on those fields, in those locker rooms. What kind of a statement is that to make?” Costas said.
“And I don’t think it’s irrelevant that clearly the President had more passion and conviction for those remarks than he did — when he finally got around after equivocating — to distancing himself to some extent from white nationalists and neo-Nazis. He clearly had more fervor for this than for that.”

NBA players and coaches (Niggers and Freemasons) assist young hoopsters in Israel

A dozen lanky teenagers, clad in matching black uniforms and gray sneakers, huddled in the center of the basketball court at Israel’s Wingate Institute for sports. They broke formation with a clap and got into a line at the court’s center circle. Overseeing the players was Omri Casspi, Israel’s first NBA player and one of the coaches at this week’s Basketball Without Borders program.

The training camps, which are organized by the NBA and the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) worldwide, are meant to both help young players develop and foster understanding between players of different cultural and ethnic backgrounds. The program in Israel brought Jewish, Palestinian, Druze and Christian players together, along with dozens of Europe’s top teenage prospects.

In a nod to the ongoing development of Israeli basketball, the program is being held in the country for the first time.

The NBA and FIBA held the first Basketball Without Borders camp in July 2001. The program has visited 25 countries since and hosted over 2,720 participants from 134 countries and territories. Fifty-one of those players have reached the NBA, including Casspi, who attended the program before launching his career with the Sacramento Kings.

“I remember sitting right where you are now back in 2005,” Casspi told the campers at a training session Monday morning. “I urge you to use this opportunity to learn from some of the best in the business, some of the best in the game.”

Other coaches at this week’s camp include NBA legend and 10-time All-Star David Robinson, and current NBA players Jerryd Bayless, Sam Dekker and Norman Powell. They will be coaching 42 boys and 20 girls from 22 countries in Europe along with local players (Israel is part of FIBA’s Europe zone).

The program is about more than reaching the NBA, though, said Adam Silver, the NBA’s commissioner.

“While these are elite players, young men and young women, I think we all know that making it to be a professional player, whether it’s in the NBA or the WNBA or another league, is quite difficult,” Silver said. “I think that part of what makes the NBA great is this ongoing ability to bring people together, to unify people through sports.”

Basketball Without Borders, which held a session with Israeli and Palestinian players in Jerusalem on Sunday, partnered with the Jerusalem International YMCA to dedicate a new basketball center there.

“Bringing together those young Israeli and Palestinian boys and girls to play basketball is one of the reasons we’re here,” Silver said. “We know that the Jerusalem YMCA is going to continue to be a place for young people of different ethnicities, different religions, different nationalities to come together.”

A training session in Tel Aviv on Wednesday will include 80 young players from Israel’s Jewish, Muslim, Druze and Christian communities.

“This week is also about the power of sport, which we all love, in its ability to unite people from different backgrounds toward a common goal,” Casspi said. “Take the time to forge those bonds that can go beyond the basketball court and make you a better citizen of the world.”

The decision to host the camp in Israel was also a nod to the recent strides of Israeli basketball. Later this summer, Israel will co-host FIBA’s EuroBasket championship with Romania, Finland and Turkey.

“For the Israeli Basketball Association, it’s a very exciting summer,” said Amiram Halevy, the association’s president.

Basketball Without Borders is part of the NBA’s effort to internationalize the sport and reach a wider audience around the world. Last year, 25 percent of NBA players were born outside the United States. That was largely due to efforts by the NBA and FIBA, including Basketball Without Borders, and to digital and social media, which allow young players to learn from instructional videos, highlight videos and other materials online, Silver said.

In addition to Casspi, well-known Israelis at Monday’s session included Gal Mekel, Israel’s second NBA player; David Blatt, the Israeli-American former coach of the Cleveland Cavaliers; and former WNBA player and Israeli National Women’s team member Shay Doron.

“For a very small country, the quality of the basketball is outstanding, and the fans are very knowledgeable here and it’s my anticipation that other players will follow in the footsteps of Omri and move on to the NBA,” Silver said.

Trump says NFL insults about patriotism, not race

WASHINGTON (AFP) — US President Donald Trump denied inflaming racial tensions Monday, insisting his charged comments that prompted a wave of symbolic protests by NFL players were about patriotism not color.

After his volley of verbal attacks on black athletes led players across the country to kneel during the US national anthem over the weekend, the besieged president played defense on Twitter.

Trump had started the furor by attacking players like Colin Kaepernick — who first took a knee through renditions of the “Star-Spangled Banner” during last year’s American football season to protest police brutality toward African Americans — as a “son of a bitch” who should be fired.

In a separate feud, Trump also disinvited basketball superstar Stephen Curry from a White House event.

More than 150 pro football players took a defiant stance on Sunday, kneeling, linking arms or raising clenched fists during the anthem before 14 games.

In response, the US leader doubled down on those remarks by urging fans to boycott the NFL as long as the protests continued.

And on Monday, keeping the issue alive for a fourth day, Trump insisted: “The issue of kneeling has nothing to do with race. It is about respect for our Country, Flag and National Anthem. NFL must respect this!”

The issue of kneeling has nothing to do with race. It is about respect for our Country, Flag and National Anthem. NFL must respect this!

Twelve hours later, he was still at it, denying any rifts about the issue with his influential chief of staff.

“General John Kelly totally agrees w/ my stance on NFL players and the fact that they should not be disrespecting our FLAG or GREAT COUNTRY!”

General John Kelly totally agrees w/ my stance on NFL players and the fact that they should not be disrespecting our FLAG or GREAT COUNTRY!

Trump — who faces low poll numbers and is struggling to enact his agenda — earlier tried to single out the NFL players who protested.

“Many people booed the players who kneeled yesterday (which was a small percentage of total). These are fans who demand respect for our Flag!” he tweeted.

Many people booed the players who kneeled yesterday (which was a small percentage of total). These are fans who demand respect for our Flag!

He also pointed to the Pittsburgh Penguins’ acceptance of a White House invitation and support from racecar fans.

“So proud of NASCAR and its supporters and fans. They won’t put up with disrespecting our Country or our Flag – they said it loud and clear!” Trump tweeted.

Only a handful of NASCAR drivers have been African American.

But driver Dale Earnhardt also took to Twitter, implicitly rebuking Trump with a quote from former president John F Kennedy: “All Americans R granted rights 2 peaceful protests Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.”

All Americans R granted rights 2 peaceful protests
Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable-JFK

Trump also drew a furious backlash from NBA basketball stars, including superstar LeBron James, who described the president as a “bum.”

“He doesn’t understand how many kids, no matter the race, look up to the president of the United States for guidance, for leadership, for words of encouragement,” said James.

“The people run this country. Not one individual. And damn sure not him.”

The White House denied that Trump’s “son of a bitch” remarks were unbecoming of his office.

“I think that it’s always appropriate for the president of the United States to defend our flag, to defend the national anthem, and to defend the men and women who fought and died to defend it,” said spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders.

“The president is not talking about race,” she claimed.

Courting controversy

Trump has wholeheartedly embraced the controversy, with his advisers suggesting it plays well with his largely white base.

Trump also changed his Twitter background photo to an American flag and stated that the “White House never looked more beautiful than it did returning last night.”

That has led critics to accuse Trump of creating a diversion.

His efforts to repeal Barack Obama’s health care reforms have run aground and would-be signature tax reforms are giving way to much less ambitious tax cuts.

At the same time, Trump faces a number of challenges from overseas, not least a war of words with North Korea that threatens to become a shooting war.

Trump has also faced criticism for his low-profile White House response to Hurricane Maria, which has left much of the US island territory of Puerto Rico.