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Top White House Aide Says NBA Protests Are ‘Absurd and Silly’

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On Wednesday night, a number of professional sports teams in the NBA, MLB and WNBA went on a strike and refused as unrest has roiled the country again after police in Wisconsin shot Jacob Blake numerous times in front of his children.

The protests in Wisconsin around Jacob Blake’s shooting became murderous when a 17-year-old vigilante allegedly drove across state lines and shot three people, killing two on Tuesday night.

Asked about the NBA protests on Thursday morning, Vice President Mike Pence’s Chief of Staff Marc Short told CNN, “I don’t know that you’re going to see the administration weigh in on that one way or the other. In my mind, it’s absurd and silly.”

Short went on to accuse the NBA of cooperating with China, saying, “They’re continuing to allow NBA players to continue to support China when they continue to repress people, continue to persecute for speaking out their minds and yet they’re going to protest now. If they want to protest, I don’t think we care.”

He added, “If they want to say we’re not going to play anymore games, I don’t think that’s a position that you’re going to see us speak out on one way or the other.”

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Short was not the only administration official to comment on the NBA protests. On Thursday morning, senior advisor Jared Kushner said “I think that The NBA players are very fortunate that they have the financial position where they’re able to take a night off from work without having to have the consequences to themselves financially.”

Meanwhile, former President Barack Obama praised the NBA teams for their strikes this week. The 44th president wrote on Twitter, “I commend the players on the Bucks for standing up for what they believe in … It’s going to take all our institutions to stand up for our values.”

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