NFL and NBA players are responding to Trump — and they aren’t mincing words

The King vs. The President.

Three-time NBA champion LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers. (CREDIT: AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)
Three-time NBA champion LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers. (CREDIT: AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)

It’s September 23, 2017, and the president of the United States has gotten himself into a Twitter war with LeBron James.

At a rally in Alabama Friday night—purportedly to support Sen. Luther Strange (R-AL) in Tuesday’s special election—President Trump criticized Colin Kaepernick and other players who have taken a knee during the national anthem.

“Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘get that son of a bitch off the field right now. He is fired. He’s fired!,’” Trump said.

A number of NFL players, as well as the Player’s Association and the league, responded to the comments Friday night and Saturday morning.


In the midst of Trump’s feud with the NFL, on Saturday morning, Fox & Friends ran a segment about how NBA star Stephen Curry didn’t want to come to the White House following the Warriors championship win. Just minutes after Fox & Friends ran the story, Trump tweeted out that he was rescinding Curry’s invitation to come to the White House.

The tweet prompted a flurry of replies from NBA players and NBA-adjacent characters, including ESPN anchor Jemele Hill. (Earlier this month, Hill tweeted that Trump is a “white supremacist,” and the White House called for her firing. ThinkProgress broke the news that ESPN tried to replace Hill with another black anchor.)

Curry’s wife, Ayesha, responded to the tweet with an eye-rolling emoji and a link to donate to earthquake relief.

Kaepernick’s mother, Teresa Kaepernick, responded to the president’s rally comments Friday night on Twitter:

She said in an interview with Deadspin on Saturday that Trump was like a “bully on a playground” and “what most of us have come to expect from him.” She noted that Trump calls out private citizens for exercising their free speech rights about racial inequality but has trouble speaking ill of white supremacists.

And then the King Himself, LeBron Raymone James, weighed in.

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


As Atlantic editor Jeffrey Goldberg put it, “The President of the United States is now in a war with Stephen Curry and LeBron James. This is not a war Trump will win.”

Curry spoke to the media Saturday evening, telling reporters his stance on Trump is “the same” but was “cemented” Saturday. The NBA star also said Trump’s tweet about him was “surreal” and thanked James and other players for their support.

“It’s kind of beneath a leader of a country to go that route. That’s not what leaders do,” Curry said of the tweet, adding that he hopes people focus on “the right things,” including the recent earthquakes and hurricanes.

A number of other NFL and NBA players have been responding to Trump’s comments on Twitter Saturday. Here are some of the best reactions:

Chris Paul, Houston Rockets

Cameron Jordan, New Orleans Saints

Omar Bolden, NFL free agent

Chris Conley, Kansas City Chiefs

Doug Baldwin, Seattle Seahawks

Lesean McCoy, Buffalo Bills

Draymond Green, Golden State Warriors

Kobe Bryant, retired

Reggie Bush, retired

Robert Griffin III, NFL free agent

Richard Sherman, Seattle Seahawks

Bradley Beal, Washington Wizards

Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers

Baron Davis, NBA free agent

Takeo Spikes, retired

Lance Moore, retired

Terrance Knighton, retired

JR Smith, Cleveland Cavaliers 

James Michael McAdoo, Philadelphia 76ers

David West, Golden State Warriors

This post has been updated to include additional tweets from players, as well as quotes from an interview with Colin Kaepernick’s mother, Teresa.