LeBron James and his Cleveland Cavaliers teammates made a powerful statement on Oct. 17, when they locked arms during the national anthem, before NBA’s season opening game. See the pic!
It looks like NFL players aren’t the only sports figures protesting police brutality anymore! During the NBA’s season opening game on Oct. 17, LeBron James and his Cleveland Cavaliers teammates joined the cause by locking their arms together and bowing their heads during the national anthem. No one on the visiting Boston Celtics team appeared to take part as a retired Navy man sang the song, but they didn’t need to. LeBron and the Cavaliers made quite a statement all on their own! But we must note, there wasn’t any kneeling going on — something other NFL players and “Star-Spangled Banner” singers have done in the past during various sports events.
During the pregame show, analyst Kenny Smith was asked if he thought there would be a protest during the anthem, and he said, “If they feel they need to create more awareness in certain situations, I think they should do it — because protest is going to make the comfortable uncomfortable. … Protest creates awareness then creates change. You can’t bypass it.” But according to fellow analyst, Charles Barkley, he had hoped the teams would avoid any sort of protests. “I’m sick of hearing about protests,” he said, our sister site Deadline first pointed out. “We have spent so much time worrying about who’s kneeling and who’s got the fist up, and we have not come up with solutions.” Asked by Smith who Barkley meant by “we,” the NBA Hall of Famer said, “Everybody. We’re all in this thing together.”
Analyst Shaquille O’Neal then added, “I agree with Chuck. Enough talking. When are we going to do something about it? … When you allow people to deviate from what you’re trying to do, then they can create other problems. They always say, ‘We’re not disrespecting the flag,’ but when you allow people to say, ‘You are disrespecting the flag by doing it during the national anthem,’ is the message really being heard?”
LeBron’s team protest comes just weeks after he called Donald Trump a “bum,” after the President of the United States said that all players taking a knee are unpatriotic and should be fired. Trump also urged Americans to boycott the NFL, so we can only assume he’ll do the same for the NBA once he sees this latest protest.
HollywoodLifers, how do YOU feel about LeBron James and his teammates protesting police brutality? Tell us below!