Politics and sports collided this weekend after President Donald Trump called on the NFL to fire or punish players who don't stand for the national anthem and uninvited NBA star Stephen Curry from visiting the White House.

Business leaders and entrepreneurs lashed out against the president's remarks, including Mark Cuban, Sean Diddy Combs, and LeBron James.

"If you want to keep sports and politics separate, don't accept money from anyone in sports," Cuban, the billionaire entrepreneur and owner of the NBA's Dallas Mavericks, told Business Insider in an email. "I don't think people realize how involved in the community every NBA and NFL team is."

The Shark Tank judge went on to write that these leagues have community programs and foundations and get involved in politics to push forward agendas. But he wasn't the only one to speak out against the president after the weekend's events.

Sean Diddy Combs, who founded Bad Boy Records in 1993 and signed rap legends like Notorious B.I.G., encouraged people to unite in a tweet on Saturday.

Criticism of the president's remarks extended to sports stars as well. LeBron James, who plays for the NBA's Cleveland Cavaliers, defended Curry in a tweet directed at Trump and spoke about the issue on Saturday.

 

 

The weekend's events began Friday when Trump criticized football players who refused to stand during the national anthem in protest of treatment of African Americans in the U.S. Trump told the crowd, "Wouldn't you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, 'Get that son of a [b****] off the field right now. Out! He's fired.'"

Meanwhile, Curry told reporters on Friday that he didn't want to attend the Golden State Warriors celebratory trip to the White House. While it's customary for professional sports teams that have won titles to meet with the president, Curry decided against it and prompted Trump to uninvite him via Twitter. Many others have publicly denounced the president's statements, including New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, who supported Trump during his 2016 campaign.

Published on: Sep 25, 2017