Via Sacramento Bee:
A photo of two fans sporting customized Sacramento Kings jerseys reading “Build the Wall” and “Trump” in the front row of a recent Kings game led to some heated debate on social media. But the men in the photo said it was meant as a joke, not a political statement.
Daniel Goldsmith, a South Lake Tahoe resident who says he’s a lifelong Kings fan, told The Sacramento Bee by phone Tuesday that he’s the one who wore the white and purple “Build the Wall” No. 19 jersey, next to his friend, Pete Molinelli, who wore a black No. 1 jersey reading “Trump” on the back.
A photo of the friends was taken during Friday’s win over the Miami Heat at Golden 1 Center and got viral attention online, Goldsmith said.
“At the venue nobody really said anything except smiles and laughs, they thought it was funny,” Goldsmith said. “Nobody really had any opinions until the next day when I saw my phone and it was blowing up on Twitter.”[…]
Molinelli said he donned the jersey bearing “Trump” and No. 1, which was custom made, after Goldsmith bought it for him to wear at the game.
“I was up for the fun, I guess,” Molinelli said. “Everyone sitting around us at the game thought it was funny.”
Molinelli said he wasn’t against immigration.
“The wall is about illegal immigration and the border, and I support that,” he said by phone Tuesday. “At least we got people talking.”
A representative with the Kings did not immediately respond to requests for comment Tuesday regarding the fan jerseys and any policies the team or venue may have in place regarding attire.
The websites for the Kings and Golden 1 Center include rules and FAQ pages with guidelines regarding guest behavior. In a code of conduct for arena, the only rule governing attire says: “There will not be any obscene or indecent messages on signs or clothing,” but does not further clarify what’s covered by the terms “obscene” and “indecent.”
A separate rule on Golden 1 Center’s website disallows disturbances, which include “profanity and/or offensive words, which are likely to provoke a violent reaction from others.” No further elaboration is given.
There do not appear to be any rules posted that specifically address political statements on fan’s clothing or items.
“I’m gonna make another one, that’s for sure,” Goldsmith said.