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During a White House press conference with Spain’s prime minister, President Trump took time to address the backlash over calling protesting NFL players “SOBs.”
USA TODAY

NBA legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, a longtime civil rights activist, wrote a column for The Hollywood Reporter praising the sports world’s response to President Donald Trump’s rhetoric on Twitter the past several days and after his Alabama rally last Friday.

“I have never been prouder to be a part of the athletic community than I was this weekend as players and owners in football, basketball and baseball displayed public unity in their resistance to the racist, anti-veteran and anti-American statements by President Donald Trump,” Abdul-Jabbar wrote. 

Abdul-Jabbar, who adopted his Muslim name in 1971 and has previously spoken out against Trump, in his column compared the president to a Star Trek villain who used to tell enemies, “resistance is futile.”

“When I look around at those brave, outspoken athletes and entertainers leading the resistance, I think maybe not,” Abdul-Jabbar wrote. 

More than 250 NFL players knelt during the national anthem over the weekend as a nod to peaceful protests for racial equality that Colin Kaepernick began last year.

The protests were reignited after Trump’s rhetoric at an Alabama rally last Friday, when he used profanity to describe protesting NFL players and called for their firing. Trump has tweeted about the NFL and players kneeling during the anthem for the past five days. 

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