Biden thanks the Milwaukee Bucks for pushing the COVID vaccine

President Biden showered praise on the Milwaukee Bucks Monday afternoon, not only for winning the 2021 NBA championship but also for speaking out after the police shooting of Jacob Blake and promoting coronavirus vaccines. 

‘That’s the power of a team’s example,’ Biden said. ‘Last year you took a stand for justice and peace in the wake of Jacob Blake’s shooting in Kenosha, Wisconsin.  You’ve gotten people engaged .. in the vote and the political process, you encouraged fans to get vaccinated. I just want to thank you.’

Bucks head coach Mike Budenholzer said last month his team his team is not 100% inoculated,  but ‘we feel good about where we are.’

The Bucks beat out the Phoenix Suns in July to pull off their first title in 50 years. They were the first NBA champions to visit the White House in five years. 

Biden also praised the team for being unified. ‘That’s who we are as a nation,’ he said.  ‘To all the players, that’s what you represent for so many people — pride and decency,’ Biden said. ‘You represented yourself and your families your organizations and a great American city by staying true to who you are.’

He also gave a shoutout to Bucks player Donte DiVincenzo who grew up in Newark, Delaware, and was the 2015 Delaware High School Boys Basketball Player of the Year. 

'That's the power of a team's example,' Biden said. 'Last year you took a stand for justice and peace in the wake of Jacob Blake's shooting in Kenosha, Wisconsin'

'That's the power of a team's example,' Biden said. 'Last year you took a stand for justice and peace in the wake of Jacob Blake's shooting in Kenosha, Wisconsin'

‘That’s the power of a team’s example,’ Biden said. ‘Last year you took a stand for justice and peace in the wake of Jacob Blake’s shooting in Kenosha, Wisconsin’

Two-time MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks also took the podium at the event

Two-time MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks also took the podium at the event

Two-time MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks also took the podium at the event 

Biden also praised Milwaukee Bucks star and MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo. ‘What a hell of a family .. I think you won the gene pool,’ he said. Giannis and Thanasis join their brother Kostas as NBA champions.

At the event, NBC’s Kelly O’Donnell asked the president about his Build Back Better bill, now that the bipartisan infrastructure bill has passed. 

‘It’s going to be a tough fight. It ain’t over yet, as the expression goes, but I feel good, and I think people are beginning to realize it’s important to get it done.’

Asked if there’s any lessons from what he just went through with the infrastructure bill: ‘None I didn’t already know.’

After the event, Giannis walked up a pathway approaching on the front portico, along with professional-looking film crew.

The Bucks star appeared blown away by the scrum of media cameras hovering around the White House – and soon whipped out his own camera.

‘This is insane,’ he exclaimed at one point.

‘I ought to be taking videos. What am I doing?’ he said.

Asked by DailyMail.com what the president told the team during their private meeting, Giannis responded that Biden said to ‘Enjoy – enjoy every single day.’

He also said Biden backed up their decision in August 2020 when the team refused to play a playoff game to protest racial injustice amid George Floyd protests.

‘I’m proud of my team,’ Giannis responded. ‘What we did had never happened, not playing in a playoff game. I’m proud of my teammates that we were able to stay in the locker [room], talk about it,’ he said.

He said it was ‘something that I was going to tell my kids about 20 years down the road that I was able to take a stand [on] something. He gave us props for that,’ he said of Biden.

The team also presented Biden with his own jersey, complete with his name on it.  

The team also presented Biden with his own jersey, complete with his name on it

The team also presented Biden with his own jersey, complete with his name on it

The team also presented Biden with his own jersey, complete with his name on it

'That's the power of a team's example,' Biden said. 'Last year you took a stand for justice and peace in the wake of Jacob Blake's shooting in Kenosha, Wisconsin. You've gotten people engaged .. in the vote and the political process, you encouraged fans to get vaccinated. I just want to thank you'

'That's the power of a team's example,' Biden said. 'Last year you took a stand for justice and peace in the wake of Jacob Blake's shooting in Kenosha, Wisconsin. You've gotten people engaged .. in the vote and the political process, you encouraged fans to get vaccinated. I just want to thank you'

‘That’s the power of a team’s example,’ Biden said. ‘Last year you took a stand for justice and peace in the wake of Jacob Blake’s shooting in Kenosha, Wisconsin. You’ve gotten people engaged .. in the vote and the political process, you encouraged fans to get vaccinated. I just want to thank you’

Biden greets a baby after delivering remarks of praise for the Milwaukee Bucs

Biden greets a baby after delivering remarks of praise for the Milwaukee Bucs

Biden greets a baby after delivering remarks of praise for the Milwaukee Bucs 

The Bucks star appeared blown away by the scrum of media cameras hovering around the White House – and soon whipped out his own camera

The Bucks star appeared blown away by the scrum of media cameras hovering around the White House – and soon whipped out his own camera

The Bucks star appeared blown away by the scrum of media cameras hovering around the White House – and soon whipped out his own camera

‘This is insane,’ he exclaimed at one point. ‘I ought to be taking videos. What am I doing?' he said

‘This is insane,’ he exclaimed at one point. ‘I ought to be taking videos. What am I doing?' he said

‘This is insane,’ he exclaimed at one point. ‘I ought to be taking videos. What am I doing?’ he said

One of the team’s majority owners, Marc Lasry, is a businessman and major Democratic donor who helped secure the 2020 Democratic Convention for Milwaukee. 

‘What the hell, why don’t we come back for the next four years. We’ll just keep coming back. You know what? Let’s do it for eight years,’ Lasry quipped.

‘I think that’s a good idea,’ said Biden.  

The Milwaukee Bucks collectively spoke out after Kenosha County District Attorney Michael Graveley said he would not be charging the police officer who shot Jacob Blake, a black man. 

The Bucks sat out Game 5 of the first round of the NBA playoffs in August of 2020 to protest the police shooting. 

‘Despite the overwhelming plea for change, there has been no action. So our focus today cannot be on basketball,’ Bucks player Sterling Brown said, reading a statement on behalf of his team. 

Blake, 30, was shot seven times last summer as he got into his car with three of his children inside, his family and attorney have said.  

The police officer’s attorney has said that Blake was holding a knife during the encounter and that the officer believed he was trying to kidnap the kids in the backseat of the SUV when he shot him. 

The officer,  Rusten Shesky, was not charged at the state level, but the US Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Wisconsin is conducting a federal civil rights investigation into the shooting with help from the FBI and the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division. 

The Milwaukee Bucks collectively spoke out after Kenosha County District Attorney Michael Graveley said he would not be charging the police officer who shot Jacob Blake, a black man

The Milwaukee Bucks collectively spoke out after Kenosha County District Attorney Michael Graveley said he would not be charging the police officer who shot Jacob Blake, a black man

The Milwaukee Bucks collectively spoke out after Kenosha County District Attorney Michael Graveley said he would not be charging the police officer who shot Jacob Blake, a black man

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