Jared Kushner dismisses NBA strike by saying players are 'very fortunate' to be able to 'take a night off from work'

insider@insider.com (Jake Lahut)
·3 min read
jared kushner nba
Jared Kushner.
  • Jared Kushner on Thursday dismissed the significance of NBA players' refusal to play their playoff games the day before.

  • In a CNBC interview Thursday morning, the senior White House adviser downplayed the significance of the strike, which is not allowed under the NBA's collective bargaining agreement and could result in the termination of lucrative contracts.

  • "Look, I think the NBA players are very fortunate that they have the financial position where they're able to take a night off from work without having to have the consequences for themselves financially," Kushner said.

  • Kushner dodged a question on whether the White House would support the protest against police violence and racism following the police shooting of Jacob Blake — but later told Politico that he would try to broker a dialogue between Trump and the Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James.

  • "We just have to take this conversation from an emotional one to a constructive one," he said.

  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

In a CNBC interview Thursday morning, the senior White House adviser Jared Kushner dismissed the significance of NBA players' protest against police violence following the shooting of Jacob Blake.

The morning after the players refused to play, postponing all of Wednesday's playoff games, Kushner, who is also President Donald Trump's son-in-law, skirted a question on whether the White House would support the players in their strike.

"Look, I think the NBA players are very fortunate that they have the financial position where they're able to take a night off from work without having to have the consequences for themselves financially," Kushner said.

Kushner also delivered a backhanded compliment to the players, who could have their contracts terminated because they are not allowed to strike under the league's collective bargaining agreement with the players' union.

"Look, I think with the NBA, there's a lot of activism and I think they've put a lot of slogans out," he said. "But I think what we need to do is turn that from slogans to actual action that's going to solve the problem."

WNBA players — who have been consistently vocal on issues of social justice and support for the Black Lives Matter movement — also forced their league to postpone Wednesday night's games.

Another White House official — Vice President Mike Pence's Chief of Staff, Marc Short — called the strikes "absurd and silly" during a CNN interview.

Kushner told Politico's "Playbook" newsletter authors that he would try to broker a dialogue between LeBron James and Trump, according to Jake Sherman.

James, whose court dominance and cultural influence have given him significant leverage in urging players to abruptly end the season, has been a vocal critic of the Trump administration.

Kushner ran out the clock on his CNBC answer by blaming Democrats for "what's happening in a lot of these cities," adding that "we just have to take this conversation from an emotional one to a constructive one."

Read the original article on Business Insider