NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Oklahoma City Thunder player Victor Oladipo believes Colin Kaepernick’s national anthem protest will carry over into the NBA this season.
Speaking to Complex Sports, the former first-round draft pick said we will “definitely” see a “few guys” in the league not stand during “The Star-Spangled Banner” before the game.
“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,” Oladipo said. “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.”
Oladipo added that he has talked to a few people about the protest by the San Francisco 49ers quarterback.
“[B]ut a few people just in general I’ve had conversations with about that, I tell them the same thing, people’s beliefs are people’s beliefs, you know what I mean, you can only control so much, you can only control what you can control, and the most things you can control is yourself,” the Thunder guard told Complex Sports. So whatever you believe, believe in to the utmost. But I think definitely, we’ll see a few guys in the NBA doing the same thing.”
Other NBA players have backed Kaepernick, including Golden State Warriors superstars Steph Curry and Kevin Durant.
“I applaud him for taking his stand. And hopefully the conversation is about what his message was and not ‘Is he gonna stand, or is he gonna sit for the national anthem?’” Curry told CNBC.
“I’m behind anyone who stands up for what they believe in,” Durant told The Mercury News. “Colin Kaepernick is standing up for what he believes in. That’s what makes our country so great, right? You have the luxury to do so. He was unapologetic about it and, in his defense, I don’t think he was trying to disrespect anyone. I think he was trying to get his point across. I’m all for anyone who wants to do that. As athletes, we have this huge platform. A lot of people are watching at all times. Sometimes it may not be what you do, they like. But if you feel like it’s gonna be impactful, that’s on you. I feel like everyone should stand up for what they believe.”
Kaepernick has refused to stand for the anthem all season in protest of police brutality and racial oppression in the United States. Teammate Eric Reid joined him during the final exhibition game when the two decided to kneel, instead of sit, in a move meant to show more respect to veterans.
Some NFL players have joined in the protest as Denver Broncos’ Brandon Marshall, Seattle Seahawks’ Jeremy Lane, and Miami Dolphins’ Arian Foster, Jelani Jenkins, Michael Thomas and Kenny Stills didn’t stand for the anthem. Several other players raised their fists during the playing of the anthem.
Women’s soccer player Megan Rapinoe also knelt during the national anthem before a game.
Kaepernick said he will donate all the proceeds he receives from his jersey sales back into communities of need.
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