LeBron James Comments on National Anthem Protests, Colin Kaepernick, More

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistSeptember 26, 2016

GUANGZHOU, CHINA - SEPTEMBER 09:  American professional basketball NBA player LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers attends a commercial event for Nike at Tianhe Sports Center on September 9, 2016 in Guangzhou, China.  (Photo by Zhong Zhi/Getty Images)
Zhong Zhi/Getty Images

Cleveland Cavaliers star LeBron James offered his support Monday to San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick and others who continue to protest during the national anthem. 

During the Cavaliers' media day, James praised Kaepernick for finding a non-violent way to draw attention to social issues, courtesy of NBA TV:


LeBron on protests: I'm all in favor of anyone being able to express what they believe in in a peaceful manner." https://t.co/jD5B5wVDEo

LeBron did, however, confirm he won't kneel while "The Star-Spangled Banner" plays before games, per ESPN.com's Dave McMenamin: "Me standing for the national anthem is something I will do. ... But that doesn't mean I don't respect [Kaepernick]."

James added being a father has given him a different perspective on police violence, per McMenamin:

Dave McMenamin @mcten

LeBron calls it a "scary-ass situation" having a son 4 years away from driving age and knowing what could happen if he's pulled over

While other athletes sometimes shy away from taking sides on important issues, the four-time MVP has shown a willingness to speak his mind on hot-button topics.

In March 2012, he and his Miami Heat teammates wore hooded sweatshirts following the shooting of Trayvon Martin:

LeBron James @KingJames

#WeAreTrayvonMartin #Hoodies #Stereotyped #WeWantJustice http://t.co/tH6baAVo

After Eric Garner died at the hands of New York police in 2014, James was among the NBA players who wore an "I Can't Breathe" shirt during pregame warm-ups.

Frank Franklin II/Associated Press

At the 2016 ESPYs, James joined Carmelo Anthony, Chris Paul and Dwyane Wade in a call for police reform and an end to gun violence throughout the country. ABC News shared a replay of their speech:


LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Paul, Carmelo Anthony open #ESPYS with speech on racial profiling, gun violence. https://t.co/qHQ0BjVjWb

"I believe in order for us to ultimately be as great as we can be as a nation that all of us have to go back into our communities and lend our hand," James said at a charity event in August, per McMenamin. "It starts brick by brick. It starts person by person. Family by family. Kid by kid."


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