The NBA can be an extraordinarily petty place, what with all the egos and rivalries and assorted beefs among its many stars and the way social media enables these dynamics. But the NBA is also a tight-knit community that readily sets aside the inconsequential when it comes time to band together to tackle more serious matters.
So when Donald Trump dis-invited Steph Curry and the Warriors to the ceremonial White House visit that is normally afforded to the NBA’s reigning champs (after they’d already made clear repeatedly that they would not attend), many of the league’s most high-profile players came to Curry’s defense. Yet that comparatively-minor controversy was ancillary to the larger issue of Trump calling for NFL players who kneel in protest during the national anthem to be fired.
It was a stunning stance on behalf of the president to undermine exactly the types of constitutional rights that the flag represents, and it ignited widespread criticism among NBA players, coaches, and other league personnel. Now, Sixers rookie Ben Simmons has weighed in with a decidedly NSFW response.