Long one the NBA’s most thoughtful players, West hasn’t been shy about sharing his concerns over Trump’s election and his disagreements with the sitting administration. After Trump beat Hillary Clinton in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, West pointed to the outcome as evidence that “this whole fairy tale about this post-racial utopia that [President Barack] Obama supposedly created is all bull,” and that “this nation has not moved a thread in terms of its ideals.”
One year ago, as Trump prepared to take office, West said he believed his role over the ensuing four years would be to “stand for truth and fairness and courtesy,” irrespective of whether he felt those traits were being reflected in the White House.
“All the tactics that he used to get elected are the very things that someone like me, who works with youth on a consistent basis, are the things that we try to talk our young folks out of being,” West said. “We try to talk our young people out of being bullies. We try to talk our young men out of disrespecting women. We try to talk our young people into being accepting of other people’s opinions and other people’s walks of life. And he is the complete opposite of all of that.”
Back in September, as Golden State opened training camp and prepared to defend its NBA championship — and on the heels of Trump’s well-publicized spat with the Warriors, and later many other NBA players, over whether or not Stephen Curry and company would visit the White House to celebrate their title win — West spoke about why the team struggled so much with the notion of showing up on Pennsylvania Avenue to shake hands with Trump.
“It’s the disregard for everybody other than those who can benefit from what he can do,” West said. “I think that’s why everybody’s up in arms. Everybody is on edge and things are unsettled. Nobody’s safe. People attempt to express themselves and express their right to be humans and be people. That’s in question. The worst thing you can do is be quiet. The worst thing you can do is attempt to normalize it.”
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