Tags: kobe bryant | national anthem | kneel | nba

Kobe Bryant Says He Would Have Knelt During Anthem

Kobe Bryant Says He Would Have Knelt During Anthem

Former NBA basketball player Kobe Bryant attends a basketball teaching activity with young basketball fans in Haikou, capital city of south China's Hainan Province, Sept. 12, 2017. (TopPhoto via AP Images)

By    |   Monday, 09 October 2017 04:48 AM

Former NBA legend Kobe Bryant would kneel during the national anthem if he were still playing in the league today.

This emerged in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter's "Awards Chatter" podcast, during which Bryant was asked what his actions would be prior to a game.

"Kneel" he said, per USA Today, adding that if he had to face up to President Donald Trump he would tell the U.S. president to "focus on serving, not leading."

Bryant announced his plans to retire in 2015 with a moving poem entitled "Dear Basketball" in which he wrote "I’m ready to let you go. I want you to know now so we both can savor every moment we have left together. The good and the bad. We have given each other all that we have."

His recent interview comes at a time of conflict surrounding national anthem protests, including more than 200 players taking a knee during the national anthem last month, and Trump saying players should be fired for participating in the protest.

It all began last year when then-San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick took a knee during the national anthem of his games to protest alleged police brutality against African-Americans.

The move quickly filtered through to other sports and soon athletes in various codes were replicating Kaepernick’s protest.

Since then athletes, coaches, politicians and celebrities have all weighed in on the matter, Bryant being the latest to give his opinion.

With the NBA preseason underway, no basketball players have yet taken a knee for the anthem, Sports Illustrated reported.

Instead teams including the Lakers and the Knicks have opted to raise awareness by locking arms before games.

In a statement, the Knicks announced earlier this week that it would "stand during the national anthem with linked arms not just as a sign of unity but also to call attention to these issues."

It added that by "standing together, by addressing these issues, that is how we honor the sacrifices made to defend liberties."

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Former NBA legend Kobe Bryant would kneel during the national anthem if he were still playing in the league today.
kobe bryant, national anthem, kneel, nba
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2017-48-09
Monday, 09 October 2017 04:48 AM
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