by Nick Hamilton (@NickHamiltonLA)
ORLANDO, FL — Watching Lebron James score the winning the bucket for the Los Angeles Lakers against the Los Angeles Clippers on Thursday was impressive, what he exemplified off the court was more important.
Days leading up to the restart of the NBA season, James and the Lakers had discussions of how they would make a statement before the public on their stance against racism, social justice and inequality in our country. James along with the rest of the Lakers and Clippers locked arms in solidarity as they all took a knee during the national anthem on Thursday night. All of the players wore shirts that read “Black Lives Matter”.
“Kaep was someone who stood up when times weren’t comfortable. When people didn’t understand, it had absolutely nothing to do with the flag, he explained that and people never listened,” James said postgame. “I did! We just thank him for sacrificing everything that he did.”
Ironically four years ago on the sidelines of a football field, quarterback Colin Kaepernick sat quietly during the national anthem before taking a knee in protest of racism, police brutality and many other issues. He was met with an enormous amount of opposition by many and was eventually blackballed by the NFL. Kaepernick continues to be a leading voice in his movement.
James has been vocal about the topics concerning our communities since 2012 when he and the rest of the Miami Heat took a photo with their hoods over their heads, voicing their anger in the murder of unarmed teenager Treyvon Martin. James recently collaborated with other NBA and WNBA players for a voting rights coalition to protect the rights of citizens in communities that exercise their right to vote.
Previously players were unable to kneel or sit during the national anthem, however Commissioner Adam Silver sided with the players right to protest in their own way. James along with a plethora of other NBA players, continue to bring attention to lack of justice following the murder of Breonna Taylor by police, Black Lives Matter, and other issues that continue in the country.