Two top White House officials criticized the National Basketball Association players’ decision to boycott playoff games Wednesday over the situation in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
Marc Short, chief of staff to Vice President Mike Pence, said on CNN that he didn’t expect the administration to specifically comment on the situation, but added that the players boycotting over the police shooting of Jacob Blake — and the subsequent violence that has rocked Kenosha — is “absurd and silly” while the league continues its “nonspeaking out against China’s continued abuse.”
“If they want to protest, I don’t think we care,” Short continued. “I think at this point if they want to say we’re not going to play any more games I don’t think that’s a position we’ll speak out on one way or another.” (RELATED: Trump Is Sending ‘Federal Law Enforcement And The National Guard’ To Police Riots In Kenosha, Wisconsin)
He added, when asked if President Donald Trump plans to reach out to league representatives, that Trump has “been willing to meet with professional athletes time and again.”
Senior advisor to the president, and Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner likewise added in an interview with CNBC that “NBA players are very fortunate that they have the financial position where they’re able to take a night off from work without having to have the consequences to themselves financially.”
He specifically noted that the NBA is extremely political, but “slogans and signals” aren’t sufficient to “solve the problem.” (RELATED: Los Angeles Lakers Reportedly Vote To Boycott The Rest Of NBA Playoffs)
Kushner also told Politico on Thursday morning that he plans to reach out to Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James to “start moving into concrete solutions that are productive.”