September 27, 2017
Sixers forward Ben Simmons is the latest local athlete to make his thoughts known on the president and his controversial remarks about professional athletes.
Speaking to Fox Sports Australia, Simmons, the first pick in the 2016 NBA draft who sat out last season with a foot injury, didn't mince words describing Donald Trump on the team's media day:
“I think he’s an idiot,” Simmons told Fox Sports News 500 at the Philadelphia 76ers’ media day.
“If we were in Australia right now, a lot of people would call him a d***head, and that’s how I personally feel.”
Trump set the sports world on fire this past weekend, uninviting Golden State Warrior star Stephen Curry to a championship visit to the White House that the player already said he didn't want to go to and delivering the following remarks about NFL players who protest during the national anthem:
"That's a total disrespect of our heritage. That's a total disrespect of everything that we stand for," Trump said, encouraging owners to act.
"Wouldn't you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, you'd say, 'Get that son of a b**** off the field right now. Out! He's fired," Trump said to loud applause.
Trump's comments led to league-wide protests across the NFL and a sharp rebuke from players, owners and coaches in the NBA.
Simmons wasn't the only Sixers player to speak out against the president; Jerryd Bayless, JJ Redick and Justin Anderson all commented on either Trump or how the team would respond once the season started.
Redick on Trump/NFL: "I’m about as anti-Trump as you can get… I think being anti-Trump is just like eating breakfast in the morning."— Kyle Neubeck (@KyleNeubeck) September 25, 2017
The 21-year-old Simmons, a dual citizen in Australia and the United States, also told Fox that Trump is a "bad reflection" on the country, "not a leader" and brings more "anger and hatred" into the country he loves.
You can read and listen to Simmons' full interview here.