BUFFALO – Donald Trump wasn’t the president of the United States when Colin Kaepernick started his silent protest over police brutality against people of color last year. That protest was never about Trump. But you could argue that Trump worked hard to make Kaepernick’s protest and subsequent exclusion from the NFL about him over the last few months. He crowed about preventing Kaepernick from getting work in the NFL. And on Friday in Alabama, he drew cheers for calling Kaepernick a “son of a bitch” at a rally that had nothing to do with the unemployed quarterback.
Hours later, after watching a segment on Fox and Friends about Stephen Curry’s polite decline of a hypothetical invite to the White House, Trump abruptly tweeted that Curry and the Warriors weren’t allowed at the White House. Sometime that Saturday, perhaps through some combination of those incidents, athletes in America — especially athletes of color — realized that Donald Trump didn’t care about them. They realized his inflexibility.
Trump has long showed he’s unable to care about anyone other than himself and his supposed ‘base’ of supporters. But all that talk and empty rhetoric was made real for the athletes that dominate our sports headlines.
LeBron James — arguably the most important athlete of our generation — called the sitting president a “bum.” Curry and his Warriors teammates had to come to grips with the president tweeting about them in real time. And the NFL buzzed about mass protests on Sunday.