Toronto Raptors president Masai Ujiri spoke with Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN on Friday to respond to President Donald Trump’s alleged racist comments toward African countries earlier in the week.
While the President has denied making the comment, Trump reportedly referred to El Salvador, Haiti, and several African countries as “shithole countries” on Thursday (per multiple reports), leading to plenty of understandable outrage in response. Ujiri, who was the NBA’s first African-born general manager and who is fiercely proud of his African heritage and invests a lot of energy and time in improving conditions there through his Giants of African program, spoke to Woj candidly about the latest of Trump’s insensitive, absurd, and abhorrent alleged comments.
From the piece:
If those places are being referred to as shitholes, go visit those places, and go meet those people. I don’t think it’s fair, and I don’t think it’s what inspiring leadership can be. What sense of hope are we giving people if you are calling where they live — and where they’re from — a shithole?
We have to inspire people and give them a sense of hope. We need to bring people along, not ridicule and tear them down. This cannot be the message that we accept from the leader of the free world.
I am a living testimony to that. If I grew up in a shithole, I am proud of my shithole.
Ujiri and the Raptors had previously spoken out on similar issues at Media Day.