Colin Kaepernick Rumors

David Fizdale: No matter how powerful, how rich or how famous you become, racism is an inevitable obstacle that black men face. As Colin Kaepernick took a knee during the national anthem, many of us in the sports world were asked, “What will you do?” While leading my team, would I kneel in support of Kaep? My answer was simple: If my team kneels, then I’m kneeling. This would no doubt anger some, and I asked myself, “Should I just shut up and coach?” Our team at that time decided not to kneel, but a big part of me lives in regret for not taking a knee. If more of us took that knee, where would we be as a country today? I don’t know. There was also a part of me that feared that protest would be putting my career at risk. Just like Kaep, Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf or Muhammad Ali, who all had their careers damaged for protesting injustice.
Speaking after the U.S. team practice at the Los Angeles Lakers’ practice facility Tuesday, Popovich was asked about some of the divisiveness in the country today and about showing patriotism. “Patriotism means a lot of things to different people,” Popovich said. “There’s people who are truly committed in that sense and people who are fake. The show of patriotism I think is a bit inappropriate and that is not something that I think we want to emulate. Because someone hugs a flag doesn’t mean they’re patriotic. Being a patriot is somebody that respects their country and understands that the best thing about our country is that we have the ability to fix things that have not come to fruition for a lot of people so far.”
“All the promises in the beginning when the country was established is fantastic, but those goals have not been reached yet for a lot of people,” Popovich continued. “So you can still be patriotic and understand that there still needs to be criticism and changes and more attention paid to those who do not have what other people do have, and that’s where we’ve fallen short in a lot of different ways. Being a critic of those inequalities does not make you a non-patriot. It’s what makes America great, that you can say those things and attack those things to make them better. That’s what a lot of other countries don’t have. You lose your freedom when you do that.”
The quarterback has become a civil rights icon for some since he began his protests. Warriors star Kevin Durant is among those donning a black “#ImWithKap” jersey this week as a show of support. Kaepernick thanked Durant on Instagram, saying, “Thank you to my Brother @easymoneysniper for rockin with me, especially this week!”
That wouldn’t be the case in the N.B.A., said Grant Hill, the co-owner of the Atlanta Hawks, who was also on the panel. “I believe if there was a Colin Kaepernick in the N.B.A., he’d be playing. I’ve talked to our managing partner about this plenty of times; we would be supportive of any of our athletes and their willingness to engage, to speak out on various issues.”
Jack MacMullan: What did you make of Colin Kaepernick’s stance regarding social injustice? Bob Cousy: I would have encouraged Kaepernick to speak out. That’s our identity in the society we live in. As a white player, I would have joined him, but not in that venue. I agree with people who say he had a responsibility to his cause, but he also had a responsibility to the people who made his brand — the NFL, San Francisco [49ers]. If he had gotten on the phone and called ESPN and said, “Hey, it’s Colin Kaepernick. I have something to say about social injustice,” you guys would have had a crew down there to his house immediately. He could have done his thing in the same way, but by bringing it to the NFL, it cost them what? Thirteen percent [of revenue?] He had a responsibility to the NFL not to hurt his brand.
2 years ago via ESPN
What is your opinion of Colin Kaepernick and other athletes that employ peaceful protest? KAJ: I have great respect and admiration for those athletes willing to risk the careers they spent their entire lives striving for in order to express their patriotism. And what are they saying? That America has made certain promises in its Constitution about equal treatment and it is not always living up to that promise. Not doing so has serious consequences on millions of Americans and on their children’s futures.
LeBron James made a statement Thursday at Staples Center without saying a word, arriving for the Lakers’ preseason game in a special Nike T-shirt bearing the name “Kaepernick” on the back. As another nod to Colin Kaepernick on social media, James posted a picture of himself on Instagram in the apparel with the words: “KAEP Drip” with emoji alluding to their shared faith and strength and the hashtag #MoreThanAnAthlete, a reference to the former NFL quarterback’s work as the face and voice of the 30th anniversary of Nike’s “Just Do It” campaign.
Clutching his young daughter in his arms, LeBron James said on Tuesday that he `stands with Nike,’ a clear reference to the company’s Colin Kaepernick ad campaign. The basketball superstar — and new Los Angeles Laker — made the remarks as he received an award for both his style and his philanthropy, from Harlem’s Fashion Row. The fashion collective partnered with Nike for the New York event, both a fashion show and an awards ceremony that focused on diversity in the fashion world. The evening culminated in the reveal of the latest LeBron James Nike basketball shoe: a women’s sneaker designed by three female African-American designers and inspired by strong African-American women.
2 years ago via ESPN
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar: As the Guardian’s series on race and sports starts today – and we mark two years since Colin Kaepernick first knelt during the national anthem – I am reminded that whenever an NBA player comes close to shattering one of my dusty old records, eager journalists contact me to ask how I feel. Here’s how I feel: At the time I set those records – most points scored, most blocked shots, most MVP awards, blah, blah, blah – I celebrated them because they confirmed that all my hard work and discipline since childhood was effective in me achieving my goal of becoming the best possible athlete. But that wasn’t my only goal.
Now-retired NBA legend Kobe Bryant said Sunday that if he was still playing basketball he would have followed in Colin Kaepernick’s footsteps and take a knee during the national anthem. Bryant, speaking to The Undefeated’s Jemele Hill, said he still would have protested despite the backlash. “Yeah, I would have participated in it, for sure,” Bryant said. “I’m sure I would have gotten some flak for it. That’s fine. I think that Colin’s message was a very simple one. It was police brutality needs to stop. We need to take a look at that.”
Colin Kaepernick this month is wrapping up his “Million Dollar Pledge” to more than 40 charitable organization all over the country — and he’ll have some help from a couple Warriors megastars making donations. Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry have both pledged $10,000 to Kaepernick’s cause, matching his donations to organizations in the Bay Area.
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar: But America has changed and with that change we are seeing a shifting away from hoisting football on our collective shoulders. Although football remains our most popular professional sport, that popularity has been declining over the past five years, from 67% saying they were fans in 2012, to 57% in 2017. Professional baseball has also fallen 2% during that time. However, professional basketball has risen 3%. Before anyone starts blaming Colin Kaepernick, let’s remember that he first took a knee in 2016 and that the fan base erosion had already been strong several years before that.
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar: The NBA has been more tolerant of its players’ freedom of speech. Players and coaches from many teams have silently protested and spoken out to the press. LeBron James, Kyrie Irving, Jarrett Jack, Alan Anderson, Deron Williams, Kevin Garnett and others wore “I Can’t Breathe” T-shirts during warm-ups in 2014 to protest the death of unarmed Eric Garner by police. Steph Curry and Kevin Durant continue to speak out. Detroit Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy has said that protesting athletes are “models of American patriotism”. Spurs coach Gregg Popovich echoed that sentiment when he said that his players have “the organization’s full support to speak their minds”. Has speaking out affected ratings? This year the NBA, despite its protests, has increased its TV ratings by 32%, while the NFL’s viewership dropped from 16.5m viewers last year to 15m this year.
“I love football but I’m not part of the NFL,” James told ESPN following the Cleveland Cavaliers’ practice at famed on Sunday. “I don’t represent the NFL. I don’t know their rules and regulations. But I do know Kaep is getting a wrongdoing, I do know that. Just watching, he’s an NFL player. He’s an NFL player and you see all these other quarterbacks out there and players out there that get all these second and third chances that are nowhere near as talented as him. It just feels like he’s been blackballed out of the NFL. So, I definitely do not respect that.”
3 years ago via ESPN
He said he’s been paying close attention to what’s happened in the NFL. Noah supports and stands with the NFL players and teams for what they’ve done. “I think it’s great,” Noah said. “We’re finally talking about social injustice. People always want to talk about the flag. Of course, the flag is very important. But let’s not forget the reason for the protests are because of social injustice.”
Said Curry of Kaepernick: “He definitely should be in the NFL. If you’ve been around the NFL, the top 64 quarterbacks, and he’s not one of them? Then I don’t know what game I’m watching. Obviously his stance and his peaceful protest when he was playing here kind of shook up the world,” Curry said, “and I think for the better. But hopefully he gets back in the league – because he deserves to be here and he deserves an opportunity to play. He’s in his prime and can make a team better.”

“Everything starts from the top,” said ESPN analyst Jeff Van Gundy, a former NBA coach. “Commissioner [Adam] Silver embraces all kinds of different ways of thinking. I think he encourages activism. And because of that, I believe, some of our players in the NBA feel very empowered to speak their mind. That’s healthy that we embrace different thoughts. You can agree with Kaepernick, you can disagree with Kaepernick, but what I don’t think you should believe is that he doesn’t have the right or he should be muzzled in any way.”
Van Gundy said Silver has set a tone in which he feels “there are bigger things than basketball and the business of basketball. And so players have shown that you can [be] both basketball businessmen and still retain your voice on issues that directly impact their communities,” he said. “I think that’s a great sign. It wasn’t too long ago where some thought that if they spoke out on issues, it might impact their brand.”
“He’s done it,” Anthony said of Kaepernick. “He was courageous enough to do that. He created that. He created the kneeling and that protest. And people fell in line with that. Some people supported it. Some people didn’t. But at the end of the day, and I’m not taking nothing away from him…I just don’t think the gesturing is creating anything. I think it’s bringing awareness, but I think doing stuff and creating awareness in the communities [is more effective].”
Anthony said he admires the quarterback for the “courage” he’s shown in starting a movement and withstanding the backlash, but he believes there’s much more to be done in the face of deep-rooted racial injustice. “I’m watching and I’m like, ‘OK.’ Like, ‘What’s next?’” Anthony asked himself, recounting the text conversation with Kaepernick. “In a very respectful way, he was like, ‘I took this step and, you know, just wanted to get your thoughts on what’s happening.’ And I said, ‘Well, you’re courageous.’ “I said, ‘You just showed a lot of courage in what you just did, but now is the hard part because you have to keep it going. So if that was just a one-time thing, then you’re f–ked. But now you keep it going and be articulate and elaborate on why you’re doing it, and be educated and knowledgeable of why you’re doing it so when people ask, you can stand up for what you believe in and really let them hear why.’”
HB: Have you spoken to Colin at all? What was your initial reaction when you saw it? CA: I spoke to him that night. He reached out to me that night. And I’m watching and I’m like, “OK.” Like, “What’s next?” In a very respectful way, he was like, “I took this step and, you know, just wanted to get your thoughts on what’s happening.” And I said, “Well, you’re courageous.” I said, “You just showed a lot of courage in what you just did, but now is the hard part because you have to keep it going. So if that was just a one-time thing, then you’re fucked. But now you keep it going and be articulate and elaborate on why you’re doing it, and be educated and knowledgeable of why you’re doing it so when people ask, you can stand up for what you believe in and really let them hear why.”
In the wake of San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick refusing to stand for the national anthem — his form of peaceful protest of police violence toward African-Americans — and other athletes following his lead, teams around the NBA are carrying out their own visions. But hours before the Cleveland Cavaliers’ first preseason game, LeBron James says the Cavs have not talked about what, if anything, they will do during Wednesday’s national anthem. “If it comes up we can talk about it,” James said. “But it hasn’t come up. I don’t know.”
It remains unclear what the Cavs will do during the national anthem prior to the Orlando game. However, James has already made one thing certain: He won’t be kneeling like Kaepernick. “I think you guys know when I’m passionate about something I’ll speak up on it, so me standing for the national anthem is something I will do, that’s who I am, that’s what I believe in,” James said during the team’s media day about two weeks ago. “But that doesn’t mean I don’t respect and don’t agree with what Colin Kaepernick is doing. You have the right to voice your opinion, stand for your opinion and he’s doing it in the most peaceful way I’ve ever seen someone do something.”
While West respects Kaepernick’s stance, he lacks optimism about its lasting impact. “What he is doing is great, but I think it’s going to pass, too,” West said. “I’m not as optimistic about everything as everyone always seems to be. I don’t wear it on my sleeve like I used to. I’ve gotten older and a little bit more mature in terms of my thinking. But I understand human rights issues. “Until you handle humanity, how do you get to talking about mass incarceration? How do you get to talk about our undereducated kids? How do we get to the health care system? How do we get to all that and you don’t even think I’m a human?”