Video: Luke Walton, Magic Johnson address Donald Trump comments, national anthem protests

first_img Lakers training camp roster ‘One of the guys,’ Lonzo Ball has Lakers teammates believing in him and a bright future Here’s the text of Johnson’s remarks: Lakers coach Luke Walton weighs in on athletes’ protests, and says his players are “allowed to think and say what they feel.” Lakers: 5 burning questions going into training camp center_img “We have bigger problems in our country than to worry about people who are exercising their freedom of speech. North Korea is a big problem. Job creation is a big major problem. Making sure our schools are better. I can just keep going. These are things that he should be concentrating on. We elected him to concentrate on those things. What I am disappointed at is the fact that these young men who are saying, ‘Hey, there’s problems in our community, in urban America, nobody is looking to address these issues and problems, that is what Colin is not standing up for the national anthem for, because he wanted the shooting in our communities (to stop), he wanted better books and computers in our schools. So I think that all these players are exercising their right and I think the President should really be focusing in on the issues at hand of our country and the people that live in our beautiful country and not those who are saying this is my right, this is my right to do what I am doing. And I was so proud of the owners and coaches for backing the players in the NFL and I was also proud of all of us, from Commissioner Adam Silver and all the teams that backed Golden State because it is important that we back Golden State 150 percent and the decision they made, or I guess the President made it for them. We got to move on past this and get the country heading in the right direction. Our players have been great, we had a great meeting this morning and have a meeting later on and Luke is going to do that and that’s it and it won’t take from our excitement of having training camp.”Other Lakers weighed in on the subject, too, although a team decision hasn’t been reached regarding a protest.“We haven’t talked about it yet,” said Lakers guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, “but as a team we’re going to discuss that situation and when we do we’re going to come up with a solution and see what we do. If my teammates are behind me and my organization is behind me I would (be comfortable protesting). As far as an individual, I do have an opinion and I think what the president is doing right now is … I don’t agree with it, but he has his own opinions as well.”Lakers General Manager Rob Pelinka said he falls on the side of freedom of speech.“I think all of us have to think long and hard about these issues,” Pelinka said. “What we stand for here is we stand for the absolute protection of the first amendment rights that the constitution gives all of us as individuals and as citizens of this great democracy. We want to create a forum here where our players can express their views and respectfully be listened to and heard. That’s a culture we want to develop here. In terms of how our players will address the issues at hand, that’s going to be a player decision.”Julius Randle said he was supportive of athletes who have spoken out against injustice.“The police brutality or whatever it is, or the issues that guys have with the president, whatever it may be, guys are using their platform to speak out for what they believe. It’s not just guys complaining in the back, they’re speaking out for what they believe in and like I said I’m always going to applaud that,” said Randle. “We’re leaders of the community, people look up to us and because of what we do we have a large platform that a lot of different people can view. … It’s definitely our responsibility to voice it and if you feel like change needs to be made we have a big platform to do so.”(Reporting by Bill Oram)Related Articles AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREUCLA alum Kenny Clark signs four-year contract extension with PackersMagic Johnson also addressed the media and talked about Trump’s comments and the response in the NBA and NFL. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more