Did Larry Bird Say The "Commander In Chief" Quote?
This quote reads; "Back in my day the game had fundamentals and honored the commander in chief. Now it’s a bunch of radical fundamentalists who dishonor the flag and cross and only care about looking flashy. Just shut up and play the damn game. – Larry Bird”.
The quote does not have a date attributed to it and it started circulating on social media shortly after the Milwaukee Bucks boycotted their game on August 26 to take a stand or in their case, kneel against social injustice. This protest was preceded by Jacob Blake's shooting in Wisconsin.
A search of the words on Google shows that it has never been used by anyone before. Sport news platforms such as Bleacher Report, mentioned that the quote is uncharacteristic of Larry Bird who throughout his career as a player and a coach has been largely apolitical.
The insinuation in the quote that Bird was never flashy during his career is not true. According to Celtics Wire, Bird was one of the flashiest players in his day.
The only time Bird was ever involved in politics was in 1984 when he refused to see Ronald Reagan after a formal invitation from the president to visit him in the White House after the Boston Celtics won the NBA game. In an interview with Boston Globe, the player said; "If the president wants to see me, he knows where to find me".
Additionally, the Indiana Pacers told Reuters that Bird never made the statement in the viral quote while Carlos Diaz, a reporter from WTHR, an Indiana news station also posted on Twitter that the Pacers told him the quote was "totally false" on reaching out to them.
Thus it can be concluded the quote circulating on social media was fabricated.