Raptors president says he supports his players: 'Nobody is getting fired here'
Neil Davidson, The Canadian Press
Published Monday, September 25, 2017 11:13AM EDT
Last Updated Monday, September 25, 2017 4:37PM EDT
TORONTO - Raptors coach Dwane Casey says President Donald Trump's decision to use “son of a bitch” to refer to NFL player protesters struck a nerve in the NBA.
“No question. Just because most players are from single-parent homes,” Casey told reporters Monday on Day 1 of training camp.
“And if you said that to me - my grandmother was my quasi-baby-sitter growing up - you're really hitting home when you say that.”
On Friday at an Alabama rally, Trump said NFL owners should respond to the players by saying, “Get that son of a bitch off the field right now, he's fired.”
Casey said in attacking NFL players who protest during the anthem, the perception was that Trump “put a lens” on the African-American majority of players.
“He may not have meant to do that, but in his words he did - put a lens on it, make it look like the perception was 'Sit down, you don't have a right. Fire 'em.' It almost looked like you're talking down to the African-American football player.”
Casey defended his players' right to speak out, asking only that they take the time to inform themselves and that they don't disrespect their country, flag or the office of the presidency.
“Believe me, I've seen every form of racial injustice there is to see, from a nice place to a very bad place.” he said. “But again, it's so much better than it was in the '60s and '70s it's not even funny, so let's don't go back to that is my thing.
“And I applaud the NFL players, the owners that were out there standing together in unity. And again it's not disrespecting the flag whatsoever.”
But, for Casey, the bottom line is: “If you feel strongly about something, you have the right to speak up about it.”