The re-start of the NBA season brought with it quite a common sight these days–players, and even coaches, kneeling during the national anthem. As Howard Bryant alluded to in a tweet recently, doing so now when it is safe is not quite the same as having done so even a year ago. While this may be true, it still is noteworthy and a show of support and solidarity against racism in America, including police brutality. Lebron James’s statement that he hoped Kaepernick was proud of the team kneeling speaks volumes regarding the impact of the protest Kap popularized 4 years earlier. It is also interesting to note that unlike the NFL and its stilted attempt to forbid kneeling, the NBA has had a rule requiring standing in place for quite some time. This was challenged with Mahmoud Abdul-Raouf in 1996 when he engaged in his own protest during the anthem, reflecting that this form of demonstration is far from a new one. Let’s see if this effort is sustained, and when the calls for “action” will come as they so often do as a way to deflect from the protest itself.
Article below by Matt Eppers and Mark Medina at usatoday.com.
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – As he knelt down and locked arms during the national anthem Thursday night, Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James did not just protest systemic racism. He also wanted to send a message to former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick.
Read the rest here.