Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr faced backlash for telling Americans not to "believe our government when it comes to matters of war," with many critics juxtaposing it with the NBA's silence on human rights abuses in China, one of its most lucrative partners.
"One thing I've learned in my lifetime is to not believe our government when it comes to matters of war," Kerr wrote on Twitter on Friday. "Johnson and Nixon lied about Viet Nam [sic]. Bush and Cheney lied about WMD's in Iraq. Now [Vice President Mike] Pence is lying about Iran/Soleimani's supposed involvement in 9/11."
Kerr was referring to a tweet in which the vice president claimed that Soleimani "assisted in the clandestine travel to Afghanistan of 10 of the 12 terrorists who carried out the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in the United States."
Pence spokeswoman Katie Waldman told Fox News that the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), under Soleimani's leadership, knowingly allowed 12 of the 9/11 hijackers to transit to Afghanistan.
Kerr faced blowback for his statement.
"What about the Uighurs?" wrote NewsBusters editor Curtis Houck.
Pence called the NBA a "wholly owned subsidiary" of President Xi Jinping's regime during an Oct. 24 speech. The vice president criticized a litany of Chinese actions, including the treament of Uighur Muslims and other religious minorities.
"Just what we need, political commmentary from the basketball champion Steve Kerr. I’m not surprised coach [intentionally] left out Obama’s assassination of Gaddafi because of an alleged threat while doing absolutely nothing regarding Assad in Syria," businessman John Burnett said in reponse to Kerr's tweet.
Others found themselves agreeing with Kerr's message.
"As usual Steve Kerr is tight [sic]. Next time our govt. tells the truth about an act of war will be the first time since Normandy," sportswriter Ron Borges posted on Twitter on Saturday.
FOX Business' inquiries to the NBA and the Golden State Warriors were not immediately returned.
Fox News' Sam Dorman contributed to this report.