If Oklahoma City Thunder guard Victor Olapido is correct, basketball fans can assume that NBA players from across the league will be taking part in the national anthem protests.
In NFL preseason games, San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick made waves by refusing to stand for the US national anthem. He was joined Seattle Seahawks Jeremy Lane who sat stoically during the anthem. It was a move that was often criticized in the media in recent weeks, and seems to have sparked discussion from around the sporting world. More than that, it’s the fringe fans, people around the water coolers at work, who have joined in the discussions. He wanted to take a stand and raise awareness, and has succeeded many times over.
In the weeks that followed, other players joined the cause from around the NFL. Most recently, Arian Foster and members of the Miami Dolphins created a buzz by kneeling during the rendition of the Star Spangled banner.
An interesting development came this past weekend. The Seattle Seahawks, who were at the center of it all after Jeremy Lane’s early involvement in the movement, decided to take a proactive approach. Instead of sitting or kneeling, they showed solidarity. All players and coached linked arms to show unity towards the eradication of racism. (See video below)
Baseball has seemed to be impervious to the movement, though players have been scrutinized by media for not having participated. Some, like Adam Jones, have gone on record explaining that “baseball is a white man’s sport”.
NBA Players to Follow Kaepernick’s National Anthem Protests?
And now according to Victor Olapido, all eyes will be on the NBA to see who from its ranks will be joining the movement. When asked about the prospect of basketball players abstaining from participating in the anthem he had much to say:
“Oh, no question (some players will abstain). I truly believe it will. Because at the end of the day it’s a sport, and people are gonna be looking at some guys in the NBA to see what they’re gonna do as well. At the end of the day you just control what you can control, so your opinion is your opinion, that’s the beauty of the United States, so, do whatever you feel is best that will help you do whatever you believe.”
He’s not alone. In recent days, other NBA players have lent their support for the 49ers pivot. Steph Curry and Kevin Durant openly supported his stance, and Jabari Parker even donned a Kaepernick jersey to show solidarity.
While the NBA doesn’t tip for another few weeks, all eyes will be on the court to see how the NBA and its players respond.
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