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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."

Go deeper

Oct 25, 2020 - Health

Ex-FDA chief: Pence campaigning after COVID exposure puts others at risk

Former FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb said "the short answer is yes" when asked whether Vice President Mike Pence is putting others at risk by continuing to campaign after several aides tested positive for COVID-19, stressing that the White House needs to be "very explicit about the risks that they're taking."

Why it matters: The New York Times reports that at least five members of Pence's inner circle, including his chief of staff Marc Short and outside adviser Marty Obst, have tested positive for the virus. Pence tested negative on Sunday morning, according to the VP's office, and he'll continue to travel for the final stretch of the 2020 campaign.

36 mins ago - World

Biden huddles with European allies on Ukraine ahead of Putin call

Putin in the Kremlin. Photo: Grigory Sysoyev/Sputnik via Getty

President Biden will seek to convince Russia's Vladimir Putin in a phone call Tuesday that the price of invading Ukraine would be steeper than anything he's faced in the past.

Driving the news: Biden held a call on Ukraine this evening with the leaders of France, Germany, Italy and the U.K., while Secretary of State Tony Blinken called Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to offer America's "unwavering support."

Justice Department closes Emmett Till murder probe

A faded photograph is attached to the headstone that marks the gravesite of Emmett Till in Burr Oak Cemetery in Chicago. Photo: Scott Olson via Getty Images

The family of Emmett Till announced Monday that the Department of Justice has formally closed its second investigation into the 1955 murder of Emmett Till.

Why it matters: The DOJ reopened the probe in 2018 after the white woman at the center of the case reportedly recanted her allegation that Till, a Black 14-year-old, sexually harassed her prior to his murder.