Maddon: Comments to Sun-Times not shots at athletes critical of Trump
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MILWAUKEE — A day after facing some social-media backlash stemming from comments he made to the Sun-Times, Cubs manager Joe Maddon tried to clarify his thoughts, saying he didn’t understand the full context of the question and wasn’t criticizing LeBron James, Stephen Curry or any other athletes engaged in Twitter battles with President Donald Trump.
‘‘I’ve always spoken what’s on my mind, and I’ve always respected other people doing the same,’’ Maddon said Sunday. ‘‘It’s that simple. I just did not know the context of the question [Saturday] at all. And then I read about it when I got back to my room, and I could understand what all the uproar was about.’’
After Maddon finished his postgame media session Saturday, he was asked if he was willing to take a question about the developing controversy over the Warriors’ scuttled White House visit, given that the Cubs and Patriots were the two professional champions to visit the Trump White House.
Maddon was told Curry had said publicly he didn’t want to make the visit, which led to Trump tweeting the invitation was rescinded. That led to James tweeting about a lack respect for the White House since Trump took office.
Among his brief comments, Maddon called it ‘‘dangerous when folks in our country stop respecting the White House and the seat of the president.’’
It was a theme he expressed during the Cubs’ trip to Washington in June and again Sunday, when he was asked the original question anew.
‘‘Again, I have respect for the government of the United States. I have respect for the office. I have respect for the seat of the presidency,’’ Maddon said. ‘‘When it comes down to individual battles, I have nothing to do with that. All I’m saying is that I understand why the players responded the way they did. After I read the comments, it was very clear why they would respond the way they did.
‘‘It’s just unfortunate that we’ve arrived at this point where it’s so easy to have this dialogue between the highest office in the country and everybody else in such a negative way. That’s the part that’s really disappointing.’’
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