WASHINGTON — Washington Wizards shooting guard Bradley Beal plays right in the president’s backyard, but that didn’t stop him from rebuking Donald Trump’s actions over the weekend and throughout his presidency.
“To me, you're a clown. That's unacceptable. That's not what a leader does,” Beal said.
Bradley Beal called 45 a clown. pic.twitter.com/zSJJNB2TaT— Michael Sykes, II (@MikeDSykes) September 25, 2017
There are more important issues that demand Trump’s attention, Beal said.
“There’s a lot of issues going on around the world. Like, Puerto Rico doesn’t have water or power, they’re still part of the U.S. But you’re worried about guys kneeling during the national anthem,” Beal said. “If you’d actually look at the reason that they’re kneeling versus your own personal pleasure then you’ll fully understand, but until you do that you’re not going to understand.”
John Wall followed up shortly after, saying “I don’t respect” Trump’s stances on the protests in the NFL and his denial of a White House visit for the Warriors.
John Wall on Trump's office and administration: "I don't respect it." pic.twitter.com/r0K6kSbvya— Michael Sykes, II (@MikeDSykes) September 25, 2017
“I don’t like anything he’s been saying. I don’t respect it. I feel like you can’t control what people want to do. And we have big issues in this world that you need to be focused on instead of other people taking a knee,” Wall said.
What is the Wizards’ backcourt reacting to?
In a rally to support Luther Strange’s senatorial campaign in Huntsville, Ala., Trump said that NFL owners should “fire” players who kneel during the national anthem out of “respect” for the nation’s flag.
“Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘Get that son of a bitch off the field right now, out, he’s fired.’” Trump said.
During Warriors media day on Friday, Stephen Curry said he would skip the Warriors’ customary White House visit to celebrate their championship, should the team even take one. The next day, Trump disinvited Curry from the White House.
Many NBA players, including Beal himself, defended Curry against Trump’s comments over the weekend.
How you gonna withdraw an invite that somebody already said they weren't attending?— Bradley Beal (@RealDealBeal23) September 23, 2017
Wall and Beal have been outspoken on social issues recently
Over the weekend, Beal tweeted his frustration.
"Get them sons of b***hes off the field!" Really my man? ♂️ #whatswrongwithcuz— Bradley Beal (@RealDealBeal23) September 23, 2017
I'm still tripping off what this man said !! Smh ♂️— Bradley Beal (@RealDealBeal23) September 24, 2017
Wall urged role models to “stay positive” after the Charlottesville white nationalist rallies earlier this summer.
“It's kind of amazing to think that in 2017 and going into 2018, that we're still dealing with the same type of things that our great, great grandparents dealt with,” Wall said at his annual John Wall Foundation backpack giveaway in August. “We thought we were going in a positive direction. All we can do is not use it in retaliation. Try to stay positive and understand that we need to give these kids a brighter [outlook]. Don't use it to go back at these people."
Expect both players to continue to speak up, no matter the circumstance.
“We have a powerful voice. If I can reach one person, that’s everything,” Beal said Monday. “If you can change one person’s mindset, I feel like that’s an accomplishment.”