76ers

Sixers' Ben Simmons calls President Donald Trump 'cowardly'

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Sixers' Ben Simmons calls President Donald Trump 'cowardly'

Some star athletes might be worried about taking public stances that won’t sit well with a segment of the population and align with a carefully crafted individual brand. 

Ben Simmons has made it clear he’s not concerned about that at the moment.

After retweeting several tweets that frankly criticized President Donald Trump, the Sixers’ point guard shared the following message early Tuesday morning:

In 2017, Simmons had called Trump "an idiot" after he'd referred to NFL players who protested by kneeling on the field during the national anthem as "sons of bitches." 

Monday night, members of the police and National Guard had cleared a crowd of protestors in Washington, D.C., by “firing rubber bullets, pepper spray, tear gas and flash-bang grenades into the crowd,” according to NBC News, so that Trump could pose for photos with a bible outside of St. John’s Episcopal Church. 

Before that incident, Trump delivered a speech at the Rose Garden in which he threatened military force, saying governors should deploy the National Guard to “dominate the streets” as protests continue across America following the death of George Floyd.

A 46-year-old black man, Floyd was killed last week in police custody. Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was recorded on video kneeling on Floyd’s neck for over eight minutes and has been charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. The other officers on the scene, Tou Thao, J Alexander Kueng and Thomas Lane, were fired but have not been charged. 

Simmons and other Sixers players, including Tobias Harris, Mike Scott and Josh Richardson, have vocally opposed racism and police brutality in the aftermath of Floyd’s killing. Harris joined protestors in Philadelphia on Saturday and has remained active on social media. 

On Monday, the third day of protests in the city, protestors shut down I-676. Police officers then pushed them off the road and fired tear gas

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Twitter drama with Joel Embiid and Kendrick Perkins involves liked and deleted tweets

Twitter drama with Joel Embiid and Kendrick Perkins involves liked and deleted tweets

Joel Embiid doesn’t tweet much nowadays.

He appeared to make a statement, though, via a recent tweet he liked.

ESPN analyst Kendrick Perkins on Wednesday night criticized Embiid for noting he “hated” the NBA’s plan to restart the season at Disney World and still does not think it’s safe enough. Perkins’ reaction was devoid of empathy and did not address Embiid’s legitimate concerns, instead framing Embiid's comments as "just an excuse."

Embiid then liked a tweet showing “prime Kendrick Perkins,” which features air balled jumpers, ungainly charges and many other lowlights. 

Perkins later felt compelled to reply with a reel of more positive NBA moments for himself. 

A champion with the 2008 Celtics, Perkins averaged 5.4 points and 5.8 rebounds in 782 NBA games. A three-time All-Star, Embiid has career averages of 24.1 points and 11.5 rebounds. There's clearly a disparity. 

There was another layer to the mini-drama Thursday afternoon as Perkins reacted to Embiid wearing a hazmat suit before boarding the Sixers’ flight to Orlando.

Perkins tweeted the following in response to Embiid’s attire: 

However, according to a slew of Twitter users commenting on that post, Perkins initially sent and then deleted a harsher message that told Embiid he should have opted out.

While Perkins’ antics have been foolish, they shouldn’t overshadow Embiid’s legitimate concerns. Perkins does not seem to acknowledge that it's possible to weigh various factors before making a difficult decision, which is what Embiid has done by choosing to travel to Orlando despite being wary of playing during a pandemic, and in an area where cases have recently spiked. 

The Sixers’ first game at Disney World is scheduled for Aug. 1 against the Indiana Pacers (see schedule).

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Joel Embiid shows up to airport in hazmat suit as Sixers depart for Disney World

Joel Embiid shows up to airport in hazmat suit as Sixers depart for Disney World

Nobody will ever question whether Joel Embiid has a sense of humor.

A couple days after stating that he "hated the idea" of the NBA’s bubble in Disney World, the All-Star center showed up to the airport wearing what appears to be a hazmat suit (see video above).

The Sixers are departing for Florida where they will begin a short training camp. They’ll play three scrimmages and eight seeding games before the playoffs begin.

Embiid on Tuesday voiced his displeasure with the idea but explained why he decided to play.

“Unfortunately, I’m not a big fan of the idea," Embiid said. "But then again, I’m going to do my job. I’m not going to let the city down. I’m going to represent my city — that’s what I’ve always done — my family, my teammates. The mindset doesn’t change.”

The Sixers' first seeding game will be against the Indiana Pacers on Aug. 1.

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