INDEPENDENCE, Ohio (CBSNewYork/AP) — LeBron James says he plans to stand during the national anthem, but he supports San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s decision to kneel in protest.
James has always been outspoken on social issues. He said Monday he intends to stand while “The Star-Spangled Banner” is played before games because “that’s who I am, that’s what I believe.” The NBA superstar, however, admires Kaepernick’s “peaceful” handling of the situation.READ MORE: Campaign 2021: Early Voting Begins In New Jersey And New York City
“Me, standing for the national anthem is something I will do. That’s who I am, that’s what I believe in, but that doesn’t mean I don’t respect and don’t agree in what Colin Kaepernick is doing,” James said.
James said the criticism that Kaepernick has received for his peaceful protest is “not deserved.”
“What I do not like about the situation is the negative attention that has been thrown upon him from certain people, because it’s not deserved. He was very educated, very smart, very candid and very demanding about what he wanted to do and he didn’t ask anybody else to join him,” James said.
James spoke Monday as the defending champion Cleveland Cavaliers got ready to open training.
He says he is troubled by repeated videos of police shootings. James is a father of three and spoke of his fears of his son calling to say he got pulled over by police, and “I’m not that confident that things are going to go well and my son is going to return home.”
James added, “I’m not up here saying that all police are bad, because they’re not. I’m not up here saying that all kids are great and all adults are great, because they’re not. But at the same time, all lives do matter. It’s not just about black or white, it’s everyone.”READ MORE: Many New Yorkers Canceling, Scaling Back Halloween Festivities Due To COVID Concerns
At the ESPY Awards in July, along with Carmelo Anthony, Chris Paul and Dwyane Wade, opened the show with a plea to address racial profiling and end the nation’s spate of gun violence.
Earlier this month, Oklahoma City Thunder guard Victor Oladipo told Complex Sports that he believes Kaepernick’s protest will carry over into the NBA this season.
“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.”
Kaepernick also gave more details about his plans to donate $1 million to organizations supporting his cause of racial equality. He said he has people currently vetting potential charities to determine the proper ones to donate to and will launch a website detailing his donations and how the money is spent.
He plans to give away $100,000 a month for the next 10 months.MORE NEWS: Alec Baldwin Was Told Gun Was 'Cold' Before Fatal Movie Set Shooting, Court Records Show
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