During the Washington Wizards media day, John Wall and Bradley Beal spoke out against comments made by president Donald Trump over the right of athletes to peacefully protest.
Beal didn’t mince words when questioned about Trump’s comments, calling the president “a clown.”
“Your job is supposed to bring everybody together,” said Beal, “and everybody in the world feels like since you’ve been in office that hasn’t been the case.”
Beal went on to question why Trump is focusing on players kneeling when issues, such as the recovery efforts in Puerto Rico, need more attention.
“There’s a lot of issues going on around the world. Puerto Rico doesn’t have water or power…but you’re worried about guys kneeling during the national anthem.” He adds that if Trump actually looked into why players are kneeling, then he would understand the issue.
He finishes by citing the importance of listening to those directly affected by issues athletes are calling attention to, stating, “it’s different to see it from a Twitter screen or from social media, but when you have people actually dealing with nonsense on a daily basis, it comes to a point where it gets out of hand and people get tired of it.”
You can watch Beal’s full response below:
In a one-on-one interview, Wall was asked whether players in the NBA, particularly minorities, took Trump’s comments seriously.
“Yeah, I definitely think so,” said Wall. He points out how change occurred with the Donald Sterling situation after the leaders of the NBA, including Chris Paul, Lebron James, Carmelo Anthony, and Dwyane Wade, spoke up. Wall compares that situation with the NFL, stating that until leaders of the league such as Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers speak up, the league won’t respond accordingly.
“Until those guys come out and speak, I don’t think the NFL are going to make any adjustments.”
Wall stresses that it isn’t enough to simply say Colin Kaepernick should be in the league. Instead, he believes real change will come when they support what he and other players are protesting.
You can see the full video below:
Beal and Wall both present strong, clear messages. Wall’s comments place an onus on some of the league’s stars, so it will be interesting to see if Brady or Rodgers respond.