With protesting going on in the NFL during the national anthem, the Lakers have decided to go forward with a protest of their own.
Ever since former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick kneeled during the national anthem a year ago, athletes across the country have followed suit — from professionals to high schoolers.
While this act of protest has generated tons of controversy, there’s no doubt the message has been loud and clear. Tons of citizens are upset about police brutality that continues to plague the country. Also, following President Trump’s remarks, more athletes decided to take a knee.
The NBA preseason is here and so are the protests.
Los Angeles Lakers head coach Luke Walton admitted on Saturday that the team will stand and lock arms throughout the season during the playing of the national anthem.
“We are in this together,” Walton stressed. “I think they chose to show that we are united in this and that obviously, they have a ton of respect … well, I will let them speak for themselves, but I have a ton of respect for the country, the flag, the military.
Walton continued to elaborate on why this is the right move for his club.
“But by locking arms, I feel like we are showing that there are issues in this country, and it is a chance for us to raise awareness and still make it a talking point. If you do nothing, then it kind of goes away, and if it goes away, then nothing changes.”
The Lakers weren’t alone in locking arms, as the Timberwolves did the same.
Head coach Tom Thibodeau loves what his guys stand for.
“Our guys have been real good, doing a lot of real positive things in the community,” Thibodeau said. “They have thoughts about a lot of things that are going on, in a very positive way. I want them to voice their opinions, but I also want them to be active in the community.”
Don’t expect for this to stop with just these two teams. As long as players feel this country is experiencing injustice, then don’t expect the protests to halt anytime soon. They realize their voice matters, so they’re using it to their best ability.