Tags: lebron james | national anthem | kaepernick | protest

LeBron James Supports Kaepernick but Will Stand During Anthem

Image: LeBron James Supports Kaepernick but Will Stand During Anthem

LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers during the national anthem prior to the game against the Golden State Warriors at Quicken Loans Arena on Jan. 18 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Jason Miller/Getty Images)

By    |   Tuesday, 27 Sep 2016 09:41 AM

LeBron James, an outspoken NBA superstar, said Monday he will stand for the national anthem and not stage a protest similar to San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick's kneeling before games, but added he supports Kaepernick's message.

Since Kaepernick started kneeling during the national anthem during the NFL preseason to protest what he called police violence against African-Americans, the protest has spread to other NFL players and other athletes around the country.

James, who will lead the defending NBA champion Cleveland Cavaliers when the NBA preseason begins this weekend, has been known for his social activism, including his support of Trayvon Martin.

"I'm all in favor of anyone, athlete or non-athlete, being able to express what they believe in in a peaceful manner and that's exactly what Colin Kaepernick is doing and I respect that," James told journalists during the Cavaliers' Media Day, Cleveland.com noted.

"I think you guys know when I'm passionate about something I'll speak up on it, so me standing for the national anthem is something I will do, that's who I am, that's what I believe in. But that doesn't mean I don't respect and don't agree with what Colin Kaepernick is doing. You have the right to voice your opinion, stand for your opinion and he's doing it in the most peaceful way I've ever seen someone do something."

James, along with fellow players Dwyane Wade, Carmelo Anthony, and Chris Paul, spoke out against police violence and crime in the African-American community this summer in a statement that opened the ESPY's, the annual sports award show put on by ESPN.

"The conversation has continued from the ESPY speech...and that's definitely a good thing," James said, according to Cleveland.com.

Another one of the NBA's biggest stars, Golden State Warriors' Seth Curry, also said he will stand for the national anthem, but expressed similar support for Kaepernick, reported CSN Bay Area.

"I plan on standing," Curry said during the Warriors Media Day Monday, noted CSN Bay Area. "But like I've said, there are ways that everybody can affect the mindset of people around them and the awareness of what's going on without, in that moment, with the national anthem playing, kneeling. I've always said I respect Colin because he took a bold step, in that regard, to continue the conversation and make it more pointed. But I do plan on standing."

Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal said that while he does not plan to protest individually, he said he would be open to a display with his teammates, USA Today reported.

"… If we do, I think it will be as a team," Beal said, according to USA Today. "We'll talk to Coach Brooks and as a team on what we feel is right and what we feel we should do if we're going to do anything. It's a tough subject given how you view it because it is bringing awareness to something, but it can be a distraction, too. At the end of the day, you have to stand firm on what you believe in, and you can't straddle the fence one way or the other."

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LeBron James, an outspoken NBA superstar, said Monday he will stand for the national anthem and not stage a protest similar to San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick's, but added he supports Kaepernick's message.
lebron james, national anthem, kaepernick, protest
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2016-41-27
Tuesday, 27 Sep 2016 09:41 AM
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