During yesterday’s league wide media day LeBron James stated that while he believes in the message of Kaepernick and his kneeling for the National Anthem, but he is choosing to stand for the National Anthem during Cavalier games. News then broke later on that Steph Curry felt the same as James but would join him in standing. This news of course means nothing because of the NBA’s rule.
The NBA clearly states in their rule book, Section H line 2 in case you wanted to look it up, that:
Players, coaches and trainers are to stand and line up in a dignified posture along
the sidelines or on the foul line during the playing of the National Anthem.
That means that James and Curry will be doing exactly what is required of them. Sure, they could break the rules and most likely face a fine. But James and Curry have decided not to ruffle feathers and stand with their teammates for the anthem.
Which James’ decision to stand for the anthem comes as a bit of a surprise following his ESPYs speech about violence and his remarks about his fear for his son’s safety when he gets older.
Having stars like James and Curry protest the National Anthem would be a great boost in the public eye in terms of validating the message. It would give a global platform for the message, but Curry and James have the right to choose to follow the rules.
What is most likely going to happen is that the Player’s Association will work with the league to figure out something the players can do if they want to support Kaepernick’s message of social justice to avoid the consequences that would arise if players went about it on their own.
It will be interesting to see how the league handles this situation, but one thing is for sure that for James and Curry to say that they will stand for the anthem means little in the way of supporting the mission to bring about social change since it’s the rule of the league.