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 23, 2020 - Sports

Big Ten football is back

Photo: James Black/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Big Ten football season kicks off tonight after months of a "will they, won't they" narrative.

The state of play: Each team will play eight regular season games, culminating in a ninth, cross-divisional matchup on Dec. 19 (i.e. the Big Ten Championship, but also No. 2 East vs. No. 2 West, etc.).

Updated 59 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Politics: Ex-FDA chief: Pence campaigning after COVID exposure puts others at risk — Mark Meadows: "We are not going to control the pandemic"
  2. Health: 13 states set single-day coronavirus case records last week — U.S. reports over 80,000 new cases for second consecutive day.
  3. World: Australian city Melbourne to exit one of world's longest lockdowns — In photos: Coronavirus restrictions grow across Europe
  4. Media: Fox News president and several hosts advised to quarantine after possible COVID-19 exposure
  5. Nonprofit: Rockefeller Foundation commits $1 billion for COVID-19 recovery
Updated 1 hour ago - World

In photos: Coronavirus restrictions grow across Europe

A skeleton is placed at a restaurant table in Rome to protest Italy's restrictions that'll see gyms, movie theaters and pools close and bars and restaurants required to shut by 6 p.m. until at least Nov. 24. Photo: Antonio Masiello/Getty Images

Restrictions are returning across much of Europe as the continent faces a second coronavirus wave.

The big picture: Spain and France each surpassed 1 million cases last week, and both countries have implemented further restrictions on citizens. Italian officials announced strict new measures, effective Monday, to combat another cases spike. From Denmark to Romania, take a look at what steps countries have been taking, in photos.