Almost without exception when NBA luminaries get political, it's the Republicans who take the "hard foul." Los Angeles Clippers' head coach Doc Rivers says he disagrees with virtually everything President Donald Trump says, and he believes the president deserves a "technical foul" for worsening the nation's racial divide. Rivers' political remarks appeared in an interview with Sports Illustrated's Justin Barrasso.
Rivers is quoted saying:
"I look at Donald Trump right now, and I can’t stand 99.9% of what comes out of his mouth. I think he’s been the worst person that I can remember for race relations. Having said that, attacking him does nothing. That only gives his base a stronger position. The answer is rallying to vote and trying to create change. I think what LeBron James has done is special—he’s not talking about Trump, he’s doing good things. When you don’t like something, you get involved and you fight. More people will go to the next Drake concert than will vote, but when you want to create change, you should stand in line to vote. And volunteer."
Rivers hasn't been listening because James has said plenty about Trump. It's all negative, some of it vulgar.
The Clippers' coach, who remembers race riots and polarization between blacks and whites from growing up in Chicago in the 1960s, encouraged athletes to speak out. "Sports are a vehicle to do a lot of good. Not every athlete needs to speak out, but you should if you want to," he said. "People are going to support you no matter what, and there are people who are going to dislike you no matter what. All you can do is to do your best and live your best life. If we all do that, then we’ve got a chance."
When Trump was elected two years ago, Rivers indicated his support for the failed progressivism of former President Barack Obama and pointed forward to this election. During a press conference after the election in November 2016, Rivers said, "The election didn't go the way I wanted it to go." Rivers said he sympathizes with people who did vote and felt their voice wasn't being heard. "We have to figure out a way to improve our country and educate our kids. The way we've done that is not working. ... We have a president in office right now (Barack Obama) who is terrific. And we have another one coming in who has done nothing yet, and we've got to give him a shot. ... In two years, go vote. You can change it all."
Go figure how the country wasn't working and at the same time Obama was terrific.
Though Rivers encouraged people to give Trump a chance and see what he can do, that sentiment was short-lived. In a Los Angeles Times story in September of 2017, after many NFL players had kneeled in protest of Trump, Rivers said, "If Donald Trump did his job, players would not be kneeling at the end of the day."
Coach Rivers also knocked Trump's MAGA motto:
"I don't think that players want to protest. I think the reason they're protesting is because they think there's injustice and there's prejudice and there's bigotry. There're a lot of things that we want [for] our country to be great. I don't think anyone is upset at 'Making America Great.' I think we're all upset at the word 'Again.' When I hear the word 'Again,' I'm thinking [going] backwards, going back. That's what that word means, and I don't think anyone wants that."
Added to the anti-Trump rhetoric of James, Golden State's Steph Curry and Coach Steve Kerr, San Antonio's Coach Greg Popovich and others, Rivers' comments offer additional proof of the NBA's left-wing, social justice, blue state mentality. A 2010 poll rated the NBA the second-most Democratic sports association, and today's pro basketball players and coaches have done little to change that.