Every NBA Player Should Take A Knee For The Anthem

    Now that Adam Silver has foolishly attempted to lay down the gauntlet and threaten any NBA player who decides to take a knee during the national anthem, Im sure most African-American NBA fans are besides themselves, eating popcorn and waiting to see how LeBron James, Steph Curry and the NBAs biggest names respond to the edict. 

    L.C. Belafonte on Twitter

    Adam Silver may not want to open that can of worms. I don’t think Lebron and the other NBA players will respond well to demands.

    The response should be an emphatic expletive in the form of all 449 players on NBA rosters kneeling for the anthem. In fact, they should do it every game until the message that people of color are no longer willing to stand by and watch their people get slaughtered, disrespected, belittled and politically and economically disenfranchised is understood. 

    The NBA, like most corporate entities fearing a loss of profits, chooses to ignore the true meaning of kneeling during the anthem and instead tries to misconstrue it as some sort of disrespect to the flag and military, which the NBA has a working relationship with. 

    Al Iannazzone on Twitter

    Knicks contemplating protest options after #NBA reminds teams that the rule is they stand during the anthem. https://t.co/Q2qgfZoP0n

    With one of the CPMs (Conscious Player’s Movement) most influential members Carmelo Anthony now on Oklahoma City, Knicks center Joakim Noah has taken over Melos role as the Knicks spokesperson on social issues. In the past, Noah has been very vocal on his anti-war beliefs and stricter gun control desires. 

    There has never been an NBA player who took a knee during the national anthem, but now seems like as good a time as any.  Trying to control the manner in which the players express their social views, once the cat is already out of the bag is counterproductive and makes the NBA look like the oppressors, while the NFL owners who kneeled or interlocked arms with the players in week 3 were lauded as heroes. 

    Instead of threatening players, the owners “compromised” with them and some were still allowed to kneel during the anthem with no penalty. They even managed to make the unity about being anti-Trump for the moment. 

    The Shadow League on Twitter

    Trump called any player who protested racial inequality as a “son of a bitch” then came at Steph Curry. Fellow athletes clapped back hard. https://t.co/ifjzh4w1La

    In my opinion, locking arms in unison wont cut it as Silvers threat cuts to the heart of what these protests are about; social, political, educational and corporate oppression and a lack of concern and sensitivity to the plight of black people in this country. That kind of bullying and media-spinning may have worked with Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf back in 1996, but this is a new day. 

    Noah shares these sentiments and on Saturday he hinted to reporters that the Knicks may do more than just interlock arms as they did last season. 

    For some reason I feel like things are a little bit different, Noah told The Daily News on Saturday in response to Silver’s mandate. I dont know why, but I feel like theres more emphasis on it. Shout to Colin Kaepernick for that.

    Were finally talking about social injustice, Noah added. 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.

    Knicks coach Jeff Hornacek and Noah both said that they team will make the decision about how they approach the anthem together.

    For their sake and the sake of the sacrifices made by Colin Kaepernick, I hope they take knee. More importantly, they need to take a knee out of RESPECT for the sacrifices made by Blacks in slavery, during Jim Crow and during the Civil Rights movement, as well as the many lives unjustifiably lost in the racial struggle deeply embedded in the core of this country. 

    White America has forgotten these American heroes. 

    Eyes On The Prize – (Part 1) Awakenings 1954-1956

    (Part 1) Awakenings 1954-1956 chronicles the murder of Emmett Till in Mississippi and the Montgomery Bus Boycott in Alabama.

    The lives of THOSE people lost in the war against black souls are just as important to this country as the lives of military men lost fighting wars in third world and foreign lands. We must value the life of Freddie Gray and Alton Sterling and Sean Bell in the same manner that we value the life of a shot cop or a fallen military hero. 

    Once we start placing different value on individual lives we end up right back where we started and in the direction of divisiveness that we are moving in now. 

    Its a scary time in our country and what is needed more than ever is tolerance and understanding but not from the players who are putting their livelihoods on the line for a cause they find more important than basketball. 

    The tolerance must come from those entities that have long contributed to the chain of oppression and the misguided philosophical approaches and attitudes that continue to devalue Black people of all economic statuses in this country. 

    There’s no debating this. 

    Every player in the NBA should take a knee for the anthem. 

    We don’t want the shock of what they’re doing to wear off. We dont mind if it agitates people to listen to the real message. And at a time like this, when there is a historical shift in attitudes, Adam Silver has no right to try and make it an issue of control and rules. 

    He has to be taught to understand what these protests really mean as well and they cant be demeaned with threats of fines, suspension or blackballing. Been there, done that. Now the NBA has to deal with it like everyone else. 

    JR Gamble joined The Shadow League in 2012. The General Manager of Content & Social Media is in his 25th year of covering sports and culture professionally. He has covered a wide variety of major sports and entertainment topics across different mediums, including radio, newspapers, magazines and national TV. His passion is baseball, the culturing of baseball and preserving and documenting the historically-impactful accomplishments and contributions of African-Americans in baseball.