US President Donald Trump criticized the American National Basketball Association (NBA), expressing the opinion that it is politicizing the sport.
Thus, the head of the US administration reacted to the decision of the NBA to postpone part of its playoff matches in protest against the continuing deaths of black citizens at the hands of police officers in the country.
вЂњI don't have a lot of information about the NBA protest. I know that their popularity ratings were very bad (low) because people, I think, are a little tired of the NBA, frankly. It's a pity. They have become almost a political organization. Nothing good about that. I don't think this is good for the sport or the country, вЂњTrump said.
The president did not answer the question of whether he saw the footage of the incident that occurred earlier in Kenosha, Wisconsin, which prompted the current decision of the NBA players. In Kenosha, on 23 August, a police officer shot African American Jacob Blake in the back several times during his arrest for disobeying the police. The incident led to protests and riots in Kenosha.
At the same time, Trump praised the actions of the National Guard units sent to Kenosha to stabilize the situation. вЂњThey did a fantastic job last night. There were practically no incidents, вЂќ the American leader said.
In this regard, he called on the authorities of the city of Portland (Oregon), which has been demonstrating against police brutality and riots for three months, to also use the National Guard. вЂњPortland should do the same,вЂќ the president is convinced.
Republican Trump lamented that some local authorities, who are supporters of the US Democratic Party, do not want to call the National Guard to end the riots in the wake of the current protests. In addition, the president warned that more National Guard forces could be deployed to Kenosha if necessary. So far, вЂњrelatively small forcesвЂќ have been deployed there, but вЂњthere could be much more if needed,вЂќ Trump said.
вЂњI only ask that the cities experiencing difficulties turn to us. If they demand, we will send the National Guard. And we will put out the fire, stop vandalism. We can very quickly end the violence [by protesters and criminals], вЂњTrump said.
In May, the killing of African American George Floyd by police in Minneapolis, Minnesota, sparked demonstrations and unrest across the country. The National Guard was involved in restoring law and order. In about 40 cities, curfews were imposed.