Thunder GM Hopes Players Stand For National Anthem But Will Respect Their Rights
Originally Posted on DUNK360 by Maria Myraine.
With NFL players following Colin Kaepernick’s lead – by kneeling during the national anthem – many anticipate this rolling over into the NBA season. And I’m sure the league’s office personnel and team GM’s are discussing how to handle the situation if it does occur on their turf. One team GM, Sam Presti of OKC, was recently asked in an interview about his players’ reactions to the protest. And if they’d follow suit.
“Our viewpoint on it is obviously we’ve had players and staff stand for the national anthem over the past eight years. We’d love to see that continue. At the same time, our players have the opportunity and ability to express themselves as people, and we respect that above all.”
As you know, Thunder guard, Victor Oladipo, has already spoken out and has stated that he doesn’t plan to protest like Kaepernick. However, he predicts that there’s “no question” anthem protests will carry over into the NBA once the seasons begins.
“Oh, no question. I truly believe it (the protests) will transfer to the NBA. 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. 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,” said Oladipo.
One can see the drastic difference between the NFL and the NBA – where the latter usually faces less backlash for their actions, according to popular opinion. The NBA has also been known to be more progressive since the demographic of their players are mostly urban Millennials. It will definitely be interesting to see which All-Stars will try to set an example, which teams and fan base will react negatively, etc. The issue at hand is most certainly not going away any time soon. And with the Presidential election coming up, at the start of the season, many will be watching and weighing in their political views.