Trump says NBA protest will 'destroy' basketball

FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump checks out the stage where later in the night he will deliver his acceptance speech as the 2020 Republican presidential nominee during the final event of the 2020 Republican National Convention on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, U.S., August 27, 2020. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Donald Trump said on Friday that what he viewed as political activity by the National Basketball Association would destroy the sport.

“I think what they’re doing to the NBA in particular is gonna destroy basketball,” Trump told reporters on Air Force One. He said it would be “threatening” to the NBA.

NBA players halted play for three days in a protest sparked by the police shooting of Jacob Blake, a Black man in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

The league and players association said on Friday that playoffs would resume on Saturday in a deal that includes increased access to voting in the U.S. presidential election.

Trump said people did not want to be confronted with politics when watching sports.

“It’s very bad for the NBA, and it’s gonna prove to be very bad for football,” he said.

Reporting by Jeff Mason; Editing by Sonya Hepinstall