Bill Bradley, former U.S. Senator and two-time NBA champion, released a statement Sunday responding to President Donald Trump's recent comments and tweets regarding protests in the NBA and NFL.
"My entire life has been founded on the knowledge that sports is a model of what's best about America and about humanity: a model of discipline, aspiration, selflessness, and excellence.
"Those who would denigrate those values, who would use our shared love of the game to divide us, show a fundamental misunderstanding of what makes us great as a country, and as human beings -- not to mention a fundamental understanding of what sports is actually about.
"So many of us have gotten up before dawn for early morning practices, we've driven hours to our kids' games, and we've gone hoarse cheering for our favorite teams, all because we love these games that push us to be better, and that connect us in a way unlike any other to our teammates, neighbors, and fellow Americans.
"I'm calling on everyone who has ever been a fan or a player, as a kid or as an adult, to affirm our shared values and to reject the President's comments in no uncertain terms. It's time to show up, united and cheering together and for one another, at the arenas and stadiums where our common love of the game and for our country takes flight."
The New Orleans Pelicans, in a joint statement Sunday with the New Orleans Saints, said in part, "Our organization takes great pride in equality and inclusion and find the comments by the President disappointing and inappropriate relative to our players on this issue.
"We prefer to take this moment in time and work together, all of us, to stop the divisiveness."