Ben Simmons has taken a fresh swipe at American President Donald Trump over his handling of the civil unrest that's spread across the United States.
A week of sometimes violent protests have broken out across the US over the death of African-American man George Floyd - at the hands of a white police officer.
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A handcuffed Floyd died as the police officer, who has since been charged with third-degree murder, pressed his knee against his neck.
The shocking display of police brutality has reignited a fierce debate about racism, discrimination and equality - which has frequently turned violent.
However, across America and many other parts of the world, peaceful rallies are being held in support of racial equality and to speak out against injustice.
One such peaceful demonstration took place at the White House where President Trump was condemned for the “shameful” use of the military to push back peaceful protesters.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said he was shocked at the President's use of the military to disperse demonstrators.
“I’ve seen a lot of things, but i was shocked at what they did. I was shocked at the force they used to move the protesters who could not have been more peaceful, and from their signs, all there to make legitimate points,” he said.
“It was shameful, really truly shameful.”
President Trump's actions sparked another wave of backlash across America, prompting Simmons to tweet his dissatisfaction with the lack of leadership in the country.
This is not what a leader looks like. His actions and cold words are cowardly. Do not allow these messages of hate and divide draw your attention away from the REAL goal of UNITY and EQUALITY which is achieved through LOVE and COMPASSION. I love y’all, stay safe ☮️— Ben Simmons (@BenSimmons25) June 2, 2020
Let me be clear. I will ALWAYS fight for equality and unity. If you call yourself a fan of me but do not agree with EQUALITY and UNITY for everyone then I don’t want or need you in my corner.— Ben Simmons (@BenSimmons25) June 2, 2020
“This is not what a leader looks like. His actions and cold words are cowardly. Do not allow these messages of hate and divide draw your attention away from the REAL goal of UNITY and EQUALITY which is achieved through LOVE and COMPASSION. I love y’all, stay safe [Peace symbol].
He added: “Let me be clear. I will ALWAYS fight for equality and unity. If you call yourself a fan of me but do not agree with EQUALITY and UNITY for everyone then I don’t want or need you in my corner.”
Veteran coach also takes aim at Trump
San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich is another key basketball figure to slam the President, insisting things will never change without strong leadership.
“The thing that strikes me is that we all see this police violence and racism and we’ve seen it all before but nothing changes,” Popovich said.
“That’s why these protests have been so explosive.
“But without leadership and an understanding of what the problem is, there will never be change.
“And white Americans have avoided reckoning with this problem forever because it’s been our privilege to be able to avoid it. That also has to change.”
“It’s unbelievable. If Trump had a brain, even if it was 99 percent cynical, he would come out and say something to unify people. But he doesn’t care about bringing people together,” Popovich said.
“Even now. That’s how deranged he is. It’s all about him. It’s all about what benefits him personally.
“It’s never about the greater good. And that’s all he’s ever been.”
Popovich said America was crying out for someone to try and heal the fractures that had developed over the last few decades
“He’s not just divisive. He’s a destroyer. To be in his presence makes you die,” he said.
“He will eat you alive for his own purposes.
“I’m appalled that we have a leader who can’t say ‘Black Lives Matter.’ That’s why he hides in the White House basement. He is a coward.”