sraeli forward Omri Casspi is coming off the best season of his career in the NBA and is expecting even bigger and better things next year..
(photo credit: TNS)
Israeli basketball star Omri Casspi weighed in on US President Donald Trump's latest kerfuffle with the NBA Sunday, after Trump dis-invited Casspi's Golden State Warriors teammate, Stephen Curry, to a White House reception to commemorate the team's NBA title.
"The number one job of the president is to bring people together," Casspi said in an interview with NBC.
Casspi, the first Israeli to ever play in the NBA, accused the president of stoking racism and antisemitism in the United States. "It hurts," he said.
Trump rescinded his invitation to Curry in a Saturday Tweet after Curry hesitated to accept due to objections to the administration's policy and rhetoric.
"Going to the White House is considered a great honor for a championship team. Stephen Curry is hesitating, therefore invitation is withdrawn!" Trump tweeted.
The president fired his first shot at professional athletes, though, in a Friday rally for Sen. Luther Strange in Alabama. Seemingly going off script, Trump said he'd like to see NFL owners retaliate against players kneeling in protest during the national anthem.
"Get that son of the b*tch off the field right now. He's fired. He's fired!" he said.
"For a week, (that owner would) be the most popular person in this country," Trump added, "because that's a total disrespect of our heritage. That's a total disrespect for everything we stand for."
Casspi urged the president to lead.
"At the end of the day, he's the President of the United States," he added, "the strongest nation in the world and the one that needs to lead the way."
At the end of the day, he said, it's up to the citizenry to stand firm against bigotry.
"We should never accept racism."