Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick started a protest against police brutality of African Americans last season by kneeling during the national anthem before games.
Since then many other players have begun doing the same, which led to President Donald Trump demanding that all NFL owners make their players stand during the anthem or fire them.
After Trump made those comments players all throughout the league began kneeling or linking arms protesting not only police brutality, but also the words and actions of the current president.
The protests have expanded past just the NFL, as many NBA players have spoken out about what is going on. Unlike the NFL though, the NBA has a strict policy that players must stand for the national anthem, which was recently reinforced in a memo sent by Commissioner Adam Silver.
While they were not able to kneel, both the Los Angeles Lakers and Minnesota Timberwolves showed their unity on the matter before Saturday night’s preseason opener as they linked arms during the national anthem, something the Lakers began doing last season.
Lakers forward Larry Nance Jr. spoke out on the reasoning behind it after the game, via Bill Oram of the Southern California News Group:
Forward Larry Nance Jr. said the Lakers “wanted to show solidarity for what’s going on in the country” and that the players “definitely want to put some action behind our words.”
Those actions will be discussed at a later date, Nance said.
“We’re going to come out with a big public memo: here’s what we are, here’s why we stand, here’s what we’re doing and here’s the actions behind it,” Nance said. “That’s where we’re at right now.”
It is nice to see the Lakers unified in taking a stand for something that they all believe in, and it will be interesting to see the future actions they take as a team to help raise awareness and find possible solutions to some of the problems that the country is currently facing.