VIDEO: Chiney Ogwumike delivers powerful statement in response to President Trump’s NBA and NFL comments

UNCASVILLE, CT - AUGUST 26: Chiney Ogwumike
UNCASVILLE, CT - AUGUST 26: Chiney Ogwumike /

Connecticut Sun forward Chiney Ogwumike woke up Saturday morning in Las Vegas, turned her computer on, and delivered a powerful response to President Trump’s most recent controversial comments.

At a rally in Alabama Friday night, Trump brought up quarterback Colin Kaepernick and players who might choose to kneel for the national anthem to protest racism in America. Trump used an expletive to refer to those players and said NFL teams should “fire” them.

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Then on Saturday morning, he fired off an early morning tweet disinviting NBA champion Stephen Curry to the White House, despite Curry already saying he would not attend.

That set the stage for Ogwumike’s comments, which Uninterrupted posted to its Twitter account:

The video is nearly five minutes long, but it is worth watching the whole thing. Twice, even. Ogwumike starts off by saying athletes will not “stick to sports,” as they are so often encouraged to do, because “it’s just not in our DNA.” Many athletes, including WNBA stars Elene Delle Donne and Candace Parker, chose to speak up Saturday as well, because, according to Ogwumike:

"Every since we were young kids…we were trained to care about one thing, and that is teamwork. And what is teamwork? Working towards a common gaol. Pushing through adversity, lifting each other up, not caring about who gets the credit. That’s teamwork and that’s how we grew up.That ideal is engrained into our hearts, it’s engrained into our minds, it’s engrained into our souls."

After that, she made an important point about the NBA and NFL in particular, and where the disconnect over social issues may lie between ownership and the athletes. Kaepernick, despite being a capable quarterback, has remained unsigned as the season has kicked off.

"The demographic of who owns and controls sports is different than the demographics of who plays sports, particularly when it comes to the NBA and NFL."

And life experience may differ not just from ownership to athletes, but from person to person.

"To one person, that anthem or the flag might mean a loved one lost in Afghanistan or Iraq, while to another person standing right next to them, that same flag, that same anthem could mean a loved one lost at the hands of police brutality. Before we judge one man’s struggle, we must always remember we have the fortunate privilege of living in a country where freedom of speech and peaceful protests are core values, just like teamwork."

Well said.