Aug 27, 2020 - Sports

Pence chief of staff on NBA boycott: "If they want to protest, I don't think we care"

Marc Short, the chief of staff to Vice President Pence, told CNN on Thursday that he believes the NBA boycott is "absurd and silly," adding "if they want to protest, I don't think we care."

The backdrop: The NBA postponed its scheduled playoff games on Wednesday after players, led by the Milwaukee Bucks, refused to take the floor to protest the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin. That incident has again sparked protests nationwide for racial justice.

  • Players in other professional leagues soon followed, with games postponed in the WNBA, MLB and MLS.

What he's saying: "I don't know that you're going to see the administration weigh in one way or the other. In my mind, it's absurd and silly," Short said.

  • "I think at this point, if they want to say we're not going to play more games, I don't think that's a position that you're going to see us speak out on one way or another."
  • Short attempted to shift the focus, criticizing the league for not calling out "China's continued abuse."

The big picture: White House adviser Jared Kushner similarly dismissed the NBA boycott, saying that players are "very fortunate that they have the financial position where they're able to take a night off from work without having to have the consequences."

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