Basketball Players Boycott Donald Trump's Hotels & It's Hitting Him Where It Hurts
There have been stories since the beginning of August suggesting that Donald Trump's divisive presidential campaign was hurting the Trump Hotel chain. The company denied it, yet booking numbers from a smaller online travel site called Hipmunk pointed to a nearly 60-percent fall in the first half of 2016. Now that Trump is the president-elect, hotels branded with his name may see an even bigger drop, at least from a few key clients. Basketball teams are boycotting Trump Hotels, and it's the perfect example to set as we fight against the normalization of a Trump presidency.
Among the teams to boycott the hotels, as first reported by ESPN.com, are the Milwaukee Bucks, Memphis Grizzlies, and Dallas Mavericks. They "have moved away" from the Trump hotels in Chicago and New York City, the site reported. There's a fourth team that will also stop staying at the Trump SoHo in New York when their contract is up at the end of the season, but it was not named. This may not be the entire NBA, but it's a good place to start — and a great way to ensure that Trump's hate-filled campaign and increasingly alt-right administration are not accepted as mainstream.
The Grizzlies' coach told ESPN.com that the decision on where to stay has nothing to do with politics, but it's safe to say that the Mavericks and Bucks may have had some forethought put into their decisions. The owners of both, Mark Cuban and Marc Lasry, respectively, supported Hillary Clinton's candidacy for the White House. Others from the NBA, including Detroit Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy, have lost their patience for Trump too.
The most eloquent response, though, might be Jabari Parker of the Bucks. He defended the team's decision not to stay at Trump hotels, telling USA Today:
You don't want to endorse hate; you don't want to endorse racism. You don't want to support controversy. I'm really proud we won't be staying there because I couldn't be comfortable being around him and his businesses. I know he's our president. But it's just going to take some time. And he hasn't publicly come out with an apology for anyone or for the things he said.
And I'm connected to all the ideologies he disrespects. I was named after a Muslim. My mother is basically an immigrant because she came from Tonga. Her rights as a woman — she got less pay. I'm black and he's said some controversial stuff about black people. When it comes to me not supporting Donald Trump, it's pretty much correlated to the things he has said.
Forget politics. When one of your players feels that way about staying in one of the properties, what else can you do? But luckily for the country, this does have a political message. It says that Trump's choices, like installing Steve Bannon in the White House as chief strategist, just won't fly in the melting pot that is the United States. The country is outraged, and so are some of its biggest sports franchises.