On The Bench: They don’t have to go home, but they aren’t staying there

ESPN reported that three NBA teams – the Milawaukee Bucks, Memphis Grizzlies and Dallas Mavericks – will not stay at President-elect Donald Trump-branded hotels. Although this might not come as a surprise, since both owners Mark Cuban and Marx Larsy vocally supported Hillary Clinton during the campaign, that doesn’t mean it isn’t noteworthy. These NBA teams have found a notable and peaceful way to protest in a way that can actually make a difference.

Whether you voted for President-elect Trump or not, there’s no denying that he’s a polarizing figure. The protests that have taken place around the country have certainly gotten attention, but, unfortunately, some of them have also become very violent. While wide receiver Mike Evans from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers exercised his right to protest peacefully by sitting during the national anthem, he chose a form of protest that was already highly controversial. Sitting during the national anthem has been largely criticized as being disrespectful and ineffective when done earlier this year by players like Colin Kaepernick.

But this NBA protest is both quiet and clever. It also sets a great example to the public. Sports organizations and players are often looked up to and respected. The actions they take are often mirrored by those who admire them. So, whether you agree with the reason for the protest or not, be thankful that there is an example of how to disagree without disarray. Although the loss of the three NBA teams probably won’t put Trump hotels out of business, it does send a clear message without insulting large masses of voters or disrespecting the country or its values.

The protests of Trump-branded hotels won’t be discussed for a long period of time. It’s likely that the topic will be forgotten by the time March Madness comes around. However, the protest sets a perfect example for the public and other organizations to stand up for what they believe in without sacrificing the message of the protesters and the safety of the general public.

Kudos to the Bucks, Grizzlies and Mavericks for exercising their constitutional rights in a meaningful way and keeping the peace.

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