United States: NBA teams boycott Trump hotels

Indiana Fever WNBA players kneel during the national anthem to protest racist killings by police. September 21, 2016.

Adding to ongoing protests against Donald Trump’s election victory, basketball teams appear to have also come out to play against the US president-elect. At least three NBA teams have said they will not be staying at Trump brand hotels, with other teams expected to follow their lead.

The Milwaukee Bucks, Memphis Grizzlies and Dallas Mavericks have already stopped, or will no longer stay, in Trump branded accommodation while they are on the road to play against the New York Knicks, Brooklyn Nets and Chicago Bulls.

ESPN reporters Mark Stein and Zach Lowe said that according to their sources the teams chose not to stay at the Trump-branded hotels “in part to avoid any implied association with the new president-elect”.

ESPN also reported that another team decided to swap to a Manhattan hotel once their contract with the Trump SoHo finishes at the end of the season, citing the association with the president-elect as a factor in their decision. Several other teams said they will not be staying at the Trump SoHo, but did not cite any political reasons for the change.

Several NBA coaches have also criticised the president-elect. After the announcement of Trump’s shock win last week, Detroit Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy said: “We just elected an openly, brazen misogynist leader and we should keep our mouths shut and realise that we need to be learning maybe from the rest of the world, because we don’t got anything to teach anybody.”

San Antonio Spurs coach, Gregg Popovich said “I’m still sick to my stomach” following Trump’s victory, citing the president-elect’s bigoted rhetoric.

A number of labour groups have held demonstrations outside Trump-branded hotels, protesting against poor working conditions.

[Abridged from TeleSUR English.]