Asked by CNN’s Alisyn Camerota on ‘New Day’ whether Pence supports the boycott, Marc Short, Vice President Mike Pence’s chief of staff, said: ‘I don’t know if you’re going to see the administration weigh in on this d ‘one way or another. In my mind, this is absurd, this is silly. ”
He then criticized the NBA for its ties to China, and said he believed the administration should not denounce the boycott “one way or another.”
“If they want to protest, I don’t think we care,” he said.
President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner also played down the boycott, saying the league needs to turn slogans and signals into “real action that will solve the problem.”
“I think NBA players are very lucky to have the financial situation that allows them to take a night off without having to have the financial consequences,” he said in an interview with CNBC . “So they have that luxury, which is great. Look, I think with the NBA there’s a lot of activism and I think they put a lot of slogans, but I think what we need to do is turn that away from the slogans and signal some real action that’s going solve the problem. ”
Blake was shot in the back by police on Sunday as he tried to enter his vehicle in Kenosha, Wis., And family lawyers say he is paralyzed from the waist down. His shooting is the latest incident to spark outrage over racial injustice and police brutality and has rekindled feelings of pain and anger for black Americans reeling from the recent murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Rayshard Brooks.
What began with the Milwaukee Bucks’ decision on Wednesday to boycott their playoff game following the shooting of Jacob Blake by police in the team’s home state has resulted in a wave of similar protests on the scene American sportswoman on Wednesday evening. The NBA soon announced it would postpone Game 5 of three different playoffs – Bucks vs. Orlando Magic, Houston Rockets vs. Oklahoma City Thunder, and Los Angeles Lakers vs. Portland Trail Blazers.
Within hours, three WNBA games, five Major League Soccer and three Major League Baseball were called off as the athletes acted in solidarity with the Bucks players.
During his acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention on Wednesday night, Pence condemned the violence in Kenosha and other towns, largely ignoring concerns voiced by people of color about police violence as he defended the police.
“President Donald Trump and I will always support the right of Americans to protest peacefully, but riots and looting are not peaceful protests, demolishing statues is not freedom of speech. Those who do will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, ”Pence told Fort. McHenry in Baltimore. “Let me be clear, the violence must end, whether it is in Minneapolis, Portland or Kenosha. Too many heroes have died defending our freedoms to watch the Americans fight. We will have law and order on the streets of this country for every American of all races, creeds and colors. ”
Trump himself has said little about Blake’s shooting, instead condemning the violence in Kenosha that erupted after the incident.
This story has been updated with additional commentary and context.
CNN’s Jill Martin, Leah Asmelash and David Close contributed to this report.