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Kushner: NBA players are 'fortunate' to have wealth to take night off

Jared KushnerJared Corey KushnerIvanka Trump gives deposition in lawsuit alleging misuse of inauguration funds On The Money: Funding bill hits snag as shutdown deadline looms | Pelosi, Schumer endorse 8 billion plan as basis for stimulus talks | Poll: Most Americans support raising taxes on those making at least 0K Trump Organization, Kushner Companies benefited from pandemic relief loans: report MORE on Thursday commented on NBA players boycotting playoff games the night before, saying they are “fortunate” to have enough wealth to “take a night off from work” while saying he wants “actual action” in the racial justice movement.

President TrumpDonald John TrumpFederal watchdog accuses VOA parent company of wrongdoing under Trump appointee Lawsuit alleges 200K Georgia voters were wrongly purged from registration list Ivanka Trump gives deposition in lawsuit alleging misuse of inauguration funds MORE’s adviser and son-in-law told CNBC’s “Squawk Box” that the NBA players have the “luxury” to decide not to play in games.

The Milwaukee Bucks ignited a league-wide boycott Wednesday night when they did not come to the floor for their contest with the Orlando Magic. The Magic followed suit by walking off the floor and two other games were boycotted by players later in the evening.

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The teams' decision, sparked by the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wis., also influenced several other athletes and teams from various sports to sit out from competitions.  

“I think the NBA players are very fortunate that they have the financial position where they're able to take a night off from work without having to have the consequences for themselves financially,” Kushner said. “So they have that luxury, which is great.”

With the NBA, there's a lot of activism and I think that they put a lot of slogans out, but I think that we need to turn that from slogans and signals to actual action that’s going to solve the problem,” he added.

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Kushner went on to tout what he called Trump’s “historic criminal justice reform” and his creation of "Opportunity Zones" to improve access to capital in Black and minority communities. He also mentioned the president’s promotion of school choice and long-term funding for historically Black colleges and universities.

He then called for the U.S. to “come together on a policy platform” to make changes.

We just have to take this conversation from an emotional one to a constructive one and say what are the policies that we can agree on,” Kushner said in the interview.

After not taking the floor for their playoff game, the Milwaukee Bucks players demanded the Wisconsin legislature reconvene to confront police brutality and criminal justice reform.

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"We are calling for justice for Jacob Blake and demand the officers be held accountable," Bucks guard George Hill said in a statement to reporters. "For this to occur, it is imperative for the Wisconsin legislature to reconvene after months of inaction and take meaningful measures to address police accountability, brutality and criminal justice reform."

Later in the evening the two NBA franchises from Los Angeles, the Lakers and the Clippers, voted to boycott the rest of the season, though other teams were reportedly hesitant to join them in that move.

The player boycotts come after a video showed that Kenosha police shot Blake, 29, at least seven times in the back as he walked around an SUV and opened the driver's side front door, leaving him at least temporarily paralyzed from the waist down. Blake’s children were in the vehicle when he was shot. 

The shooting ignited protests and riots in Kenosha that have continued since Sunday night.