Charlotte Hornets owner and Basketball Hall of Famer Michael Jordan says he supports athletes that choose to express themselves in tackling social issues and those who do "should not be demonized or ostracized."
Many in the sports community have spoken out against President Donald Trump and his comments about NFL players.
Trump said during a rally last week that athletes that do not stand for the national anthem should be fired, and he encouraged fans to boycott teams and players who do.
Jordan was asked by the Charlotte Observer about Trump uninviting the Golden State Warriors to the White House after All–Star guard Stephen Curry said he would not go to celebrate their most recent championship.
“One of the fundamental rights this country is founded on was freedom of speech, and we have a long tradition of nonviolent, peaceful protest. Those who exercise the right to peacefully express themselves should not be demonized or ostracized," Jordan said in a statement.
"At a time of increasing divisiveness and hate in this country, we should be looking for ways to work together and support each other and not create more division. I support Commissioner Adam Silver, the NBA, its players and all those who wish to exercise their right to free speech.”
NFL players and team executives came out in force denouncing Trump's comments and more than 200 players chose not to stand for the anthem, including the Seattle Seahawks and Tennessee Titans who stayed in the locker room during the playing of the anthem before their game Sunday afternoon.