NBA protests are a result of Trump fanning racial tensions: Ex-NAACP chief
Donald Trump (Screen Grab)

On Wednesday, former NAACP Ben Jealous highlighted President Donald Trump's responsibility for the fresh round of racial tensions — and linked the NBA players' boycott to his actions.

"How significant is this, this moment? The NBA and these other teams?" asked host Erin Burnett.

"Oh, this is huge," said Jealous. "I mean, it's four years to the day since Colin Kaepernick started kneeling. While many may have wanted this solidarity earlier, it is right on time. And it is extremely powerful. This is a moment when the president should be stepping up to heal the nation. And instead he's been doubling down all week. And here we have a young man, this shooter, who was at a Trump rally."

"His whole — his social media was full of Blue Lives Matter," said Burnett. "There isn't anybody who believes in the police who would believe in what this person had to do, what this person chose to do."

"My granddad was in law enforcement. My cousins are in law enforcement now," said Jealous. "But this young man who was at the Trump rally, you took at the RNC this week, and Trump has the McCloskeys, who brandished guns at BLM protesters, onstage. We have a president who is stoking this. So, to have the players step up in this moment in this way to shut things down, that leadership is leadership that our nation needs. We would expect it from the White House. We don't expect it from the players, but I'll take it from whatever corner we can get it from."

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