Michael Jordan Supports NBA Players Exercising Their Right To Free Speech

Over the span of 48 hours, one of the main topics of conversation remained pro-athletes’ decision to protest police brutality and racial inequality partly in the form of taking a knee during the national anthem. Their actions, which was initiated by Colin Kaepernick over a year ago, prompted Donald Trump to comment on their right to peacefully protest.

Now, NBA legend Michael Jordan is speaking up for not only athletes but people across the U.S.A. that decide to enact the First Amendment. In a statement issued to The Charlotte Observer, the Charlotte Hornets owner also responded to Trump’s divisive remarks.

READ: Donald Trump Spews Scathing Comments On NFL Players Who Protest Injustice

“One of the fundamental rights this country is founded on was freedom of speech, and we have a long tradition of nonviolent, peaceful protest,” Jordan began. “Those who exercise the right to peacefully express themselves should not be demonized or ostracized.”

The 54-year-old then cemented his support of “Commissioner Adam Silver, the NBA, its players and all those who wish to exercise their right to free speech.” This news arrives after a string of NBA players called out Trump for seeking the termination of athletes’ protesting on and off the field, including LeBron James who referred to Trump as a “bum.”

READ: LeBron James Calls Donald Trump A “Bum”

In a tweet posted by UNINTERRUPTED, the Cleveland Cavaliers small forward elaborated on his viral tweet. “We all know how much sports brings us together, how much passion it has, how much we love and care, and the friendships and everything that it creates, and for him to use this platform to try to divide us even more, that’s not something I can stand for, and it’s not something I can be quiet about,” James said per Deadspin. “You look at him kind of asking the NFL owners to get rid of players off the field because they’re exercising their rights, and that’s not right. And then, when I wake up, I see that a colleague of mine has been uninvited of something that he said that he didn’t even want to go to in the first place—to the White House—that’s just something that I can’t stand for.”