The impact of Colin Kaepernick’s silent, non-violent protest of police brutality in the U.S. is being felt.
The public first took notice when the backup quarterback sat during the singing of the national anthem prior to kickoff of the 49ers’ preseason meeting at home against the Packers late last month. The next game, his teammate safety Eric Reid, a Baton Rouge, La. native who was deeply touched by the murder of Alton Sterling at the hands of law enforcement officers, joined him in taking a knee.
NFL players, Broncos linebacker Brandon Marshall and Miami Dolphins running back Arian Foster soon followed suit, kneeling on the sideline while the “Star Spangled Banner” played in Week 1. Others chose to stand while holding a fist up in solidarity with Kaepernick’s sentiments. Kaepernick also vowed to donate $1 million to organizations dedicated to combating social inequality. It’s a move the 49ers’ brass committed to making as well.
With basketball season vastly approaching, Thunder guard Victor Oladipo said don’t be surprised if you see NBA players stage similar protests in 2016-2017.
“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,” Oladipo told Complex’s Russ Bengston during an offseason Q&A published Wednesday.
Several marquee NBA players including LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, Chris Paul and Dwayne Wade have been particularly outspoken about social justice issues as of late. The quartet stood together on stage and delivered a heartfelt anti-violence plea to start the ESPY awards, vowing to do their part to spark change.
Two-time reigning NBA MVP Stephen Curry said he plans to stand during the national anthem, but added he too respects Kaepernick’s right to protest.
“I’ve been a part of certain conversations off the grid, and finding different ways to make our community better, especially for African Americans,” Curry said in an interview at a TechCrunch event in San Francisco Tuesday.”And so, that’s not the way that I would do it, but I support him in his attempt to start a conversation or continue the conversation.”
Kevin Durant also lauded Kaepernick for his efforts.
SOURCE: Sporting News – Nick Birdsong