Mike Ehrman / Associated Press
Los Angeles Lakers guard / forward LeBron James told reporters that he expected the NBA to be proud of former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick after a pregame protest during the national anthem.
“James was the one who wasn’t comfortable getting up prematurely,” James said (h / t Lauren A. Jones Of Los angeles sentinel). “When people didn’t understand … they had nothing to do about the flag they explained and people never heard. I did it! We just wanted to sacrifice everything they did Thank you for that. “
Kaepernick kneeled during the national anthem to protest systemic racism and police brutality during the 2016 NFL season.
As Rhiannon Walker (then of Undefined) noted in his aggregation of responses to Kaepernick’s actions, the quarterback received praise, severe criticism, and some mixed reactions to his work in the sporting world.
Ultimately, Kaepernick opted out of NFL work after the 2016 season, despite his production on a mostly moribund 49ers team (18 total touchdowns and just four interceptions in 11 games).
On Thursday, players, coaches and referees took part in the Utah Jazz vs. New Orleans Pelicans and Los Angeles Lakers vs. Los Angeles Clapper games, all wearing “Black Lives Matter” T-shirts with songs throughout the song.
NBA players continue to fuel the fight for social justice as they play the remainder of the season at the league’s Walt Disney World Campus near Orlando, a four-and-a-half-month suspension in Florida amid the COVID-19 epidemic Start of campaign from 11 March to 2019-20
James highlighted the league’s message in a postgame interview with NBA TV and the NBA after his team’s 103–101 win over TNT reporter Jared Greenberg with NBA TV and NBA, which his game-winning shot took 12.8 seconds Remaining and covered with shutdown defense at the other end:
He also posted this Instagram caption Kneeling during the anthem on Thursday with an image of raising your fist up: “What is your purpose in life ??? Make changes, inspire and inspire others are my few! I just hope that I make you feel proud. Love you all! B #BlackLivesMatter #ThankYouKap #JusticeForBreonnaTaylor. ❤️❤️❤️✊?✊? “
Messaging from players has taken place in various forms, with some ideas being delivered during a postgame or post-practice press conference.
Of note, following the Ulce’s 104–102 victory, Jazz shooting guard Donovan Mitchell revealed a bulletproof vest that listed the casualties due to police brutality:
In addition, players from all four teams listed messages on the back of their jerseys in support of social justice, including examples such as “Say Her Name,” “Equality” and “Black Lives Matter”.
The NBA’s debut will continue on Friday with six more games, starting with the Orlando Magic flurry with the Brooklyn Nets at 2:30 p.m.