INDEPENDENCE, Ohio — With the NBA season less than a month away, teams have started training camps and are conducting pre-season interview sessions. You could have set your watch to it that the game’s biggest star and defending champ, LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers, would be immediately grilled on the NFL’s Colin Kaepernick’s protest of the national anthem — and whether he would duplicate the much maligned quarterback.
As you recall, James has taken stances before, when he and his former Miami Heat teammates wore hoodies after the tragic murder of Trayvon Martin. He and his Cavs teammates also wore “I Can’t Breathe” t-shirts after Eric Garner was placed in an illegal chokehold and died in New York’s Staten Island after selling loose cigarettes.
One of the first questions LBJ was faced with was not how to defend his title or the state of the Cavaliers, but the media’s fear that NBA teams may duplicate what many NFL players have done — which is either to kneel during the National Anthem or raise a fist in the air, ala Tommy Smith during the 1968 Mexico Olympics.
James made the NBA establishment exhale when he said he will not follow in Kaepernick’s footsteps and protest the National Anthem before games.
James was speaking with reporters at Cavs Media Day.
“Me, standing for the national anthem is something I will do,” James said … “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.”
In fact, King James believes that Kapernick has the right to do what he is doing and feels the San Francisco quarterback is taking unnecessary shots from many quarters of the country for making a very peaceful, nonviolent protest stance.
Check out the interview in full on TMZ here.