Israeli NBA player slams Trump

Omri Casspi slams Trump after White House rescinds invitation to Golden State Warriors teammate Stephen Curry.

Tzvi Lev ,

Omri Caspi
Omri Caspi

Omri Casspi, the first Israeli to ever play in the National Basketball Association (NBA) slammed President Donald Trump after he said Golden State Warriors teammate Stephen Curry was no longer invited to the White House to commemorate his team's NBA title.

“The number one job of the president is bringing the people together,” Casspi said during an interview with NBC. “He’s the one that the people chose to be at the top but he needs to bring people together.”

Casspi charged that Trump was letting anti-Semitism and racism to flourish. "That hurts,” he said. “At the end of the day, he’s the president of the United States, the strongest nation in the world and the one that needs to lead the way.”

The furor first erupted after Trump bashed football players who kneel during the national anthem at a campaign rally Friday night. Trump urged the crowd to protest players who don't stand up for the national anthem, telling them "when people like yourselves turn on television and you see those people taking the knee when they are playing our great national anthem, the only thing you could do better is if you see it, even if it's one player, leave the stadium. I guarantee things will stop."

Spectator sports have suffered a steep decline in ratings since the national anthem controversy began, following the refusal of NFL star Colin Kaepernick to stand in honor of the anthem before games.

Several professional athletes, including the Golden State Warrior's Stephen Curry, ripped the president over his comments. After Curry announced he would not be joining his team during their visit to the White House, a tradition for teams that win the NBA's top honor, President Trump disinvited Curry, tweeting on Saturday that “going to the White House is considered a great honor for a championship team, Stephen Curry is hesitating, therefore invitation is withdrawn!”

Trump's comments sparked an avalanche of criticism from professional athletes. NBA superstar Lebron James called Trump a "bum," and blasted him for politicizing the traditional White House invitation. "Going to White House was an honor until you showed up," he said.

Kobe Bryant, who visited the White House five times after racking up titles with the Lakers, tweeted that Trump's "name alone creates division and anger. Whose words inspire dissension and hatred can't possibly Make America Great Again".