Professional athletes are coming out in droves to criticise Donald Trump for lewd 2005 comments he has excused by chalking up to “locker-room talk,” saying almost uniformly that they have never heard anything similar in any of their locker rooms.
One former NBA player, John Amaechi, was particularly critical of Trump’s words, going so far as to reveal what exactly would happen within a locker room if someone spoke so candidly about sexual violence.
Amaechi, who played in the NBA from 1995 to 2003 for the Cavaliers, Jazz, and Magic, appeared on NPR’s “Fresh Air” Monday and first explained what he and his teammates talked about.
“We had conversations that were about politics, that were about the systemic racism, were about the tax advantages of living in Florida as an athlete. These things came first. These were the things that we talked about. Whether in our locker room or in our planes flying across the country, never once did I hear an athlete talk about how they had abused somebody and certainly not with the kind of gleeful pride we heard from Trump.”
And Amaechi added that anyone who did speak in a similar manner as Trump would have immediately been reprimanded.
“There would be absolute silence. And then any leader in the room – unless this was a locker room devoid of leadership, somebody would step up and say, by the way, what you’re talking about is abuse. It is not cool.
You can talk about the fact that you sleep with lots of people, whether they be men or women frankly. You can have that conversation because when there is consent in this environment, people can understand that. And then you can, if you want to, have a degree of levity about it.
But what people seem to forget is that what we’re talking about here is not consensual. And I just don’t know any of the people that I’ve played with who would look at that in any other way than with utter contempt.”
Trump, for his part, has doubled down on the “locker room” explanation. During the second presidential debate, the Republican nominee was questioned about his 2005 comments and spent most of his answer to the question discussing ISIS.
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