His hoops career has kept him away from Louisiana and the Superdome for much of the past decade, but Sacre got to attend a Saints home preseason game in August, as well as their regular season opener vs. Oakland. For a Saints aficionado, it’s one of the unexpected perks that came from signing with his home-state NBA franchise. “Playing here has always been in the back of my mind,” said Sacre, who visited for a pre-draft workout with New Orleans in 2012, but was the 60th and final overall pick that year by the Lakers. “I’ve always wanted to play close to home and be a part of the organization. I wanted to be here because this is where my family is from. I wanted to be back in my hometown. This is where I belong.”
The Baton Rouge-born Sacre, a Saints supporter since childhood, describes his tattoo as a “no-brainer,” given how well it ties together so many aspects of his background. “It was such a weird coincidence based on my parents’ names,” said the 7-footer, whose father Greg played football at LSU and was an NFL tight end from 1981-86. “It represents my heritage, my upbringing and Louisiana. It’s very funny how it just worked out that way. I thought it was perfect.” As a result of signing with New Orleans, the 27-year-old has spent September at the Pelicans’ practice facility, mere feet from where his favorite NFL team works.
With a large percentage of NBA players being African-American, it’s safe to assume some will consider bringing the protests to arenas starting next month. Morris and Jackson said they support Kaepernick. “With the whole Black Lives Matter stuff, it’s a major thing for me,” Morris told the Free Press. “Colin’s going to do what he’s going to do and I can agree or disagree, but for me, personally, I live in this world. I live in the U.S. I can’t take a knee on that. Things are not going right. I don’t think taking a knee is going to make it better because it’s something that’s just happening. It just brings attention. “I stand up for Colin doing that. It took a lot of balls to do that. He obviously truly believes in what he’s doing. Right or wrong, he’s standing for what he believes in and I agree with that.”
Jennings was asked on the podcast for his opinion on Colin Kaepernick’s refusal to stand during the national anthem to protest racial oppression and inequality in the United States. “I like it. He’s taking a stand for what he believes in. People who think it’s wrong, ask him why he is doing it,” Jennings said. “Everybody’s just thinking he’s just disrespecting the flag. No, he’s making a stand about what’s going on in America. It’s not about, he’s disrespecting anybody. He’s just like, ‘Yo, I’m just making a stand.’ And the fact that he has a voice, it just shows that, ‘I’m an athlete, I make a lot of money, people support me, people buy my things, so why I can’t support the world? … Everybody’s going to have their opinion whether it’s right or wrong. But at least let a man speak and hear what he has to say first before you just judge him off of what he does.”