Hall of Fame quarterback Brett Favre said "the NBA and the NFL are struggling with lower ratings" because "fans clearly do not want political messaging mixed with their sports" at a town hall event with President Trump on Wednesday.
(at the 25:33 mark)
Favre asked the president, "how should the leagues support and promote an anti-racism position without becoming political and alienating fans?"
"[The people have] got enough politics with me and with everybody else, and they don't want to see it with football and sports on Sunday or whenever they happen to be watching," Trump said.
"I think it's had a huge impact on sports, a huge negative impact on sports. I think the football ought to get back to football and basketball to basketball and let politics remain separate.
If people want to protest they can, but they shouldn't be protesting on the sidelines during the football game, especially when they are making $10 million a year for something that they would be doing anyway for free if they weren't in the league.
People don't want to see it, and they want to have these players stand and salute and put their hand over their heart, or at least stand for the national anthem and solute. They want respect for the American flag, they want respect for our country."
🔦 In June, Favre compared ex-NFL player Colin Kaepernick to Pat Tillman, who retired from the NFL at the age of 25 to enlist in the United States Army in 2002. Tillman served several tours with the Army Rangers before he was killed in action from friendly fire in 2004. Favre later sought to clarify his comments.
The 2020 NBA Playoffs and Finals saw a decline in viewership from previous years. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said "[his] sense is that the league's political messaging "on courts and ... jerseys" will have "somewhat of a return to normalcy" and "that those messages will likely be delivered off the floor."