The Nets will open preseason next Thursday and it will be the first time they will have the option of standing —or kneeling— for the national anthem. Colin Kapernick, protesting police violence against black men, started the kneeling protest which has now spread to women’s and high school teams as well as the NFL.
Will any of the Nets do it? And how will the organization react. And remember, unlike all but one other NBA franchise, the Nets are owned by a citizen of another country, adding to the senstivity
At Media Day, Jeremy Lin raised the possibility but said he’d want to discuss it with the team.
"I will say the one thing that I will make sure is I don't want to do anything alone. I want something to be united, I want there to be solidarity, because I don't want it to be X versus Y, or Group A versus Group B versus Group C or whatever. It has to be, if I do anything, I would want to be behind a stand of unity, because I think that's what we need. That's what I think our nation needs right now."
Kenny Atkinson reacted Thursday by saying the organization will encourage players stand, but added that they respect players individual rights and that Lin would want any protest to be a team decision.
"I think it’s great that Jeremy said that, if they’re going to do it, they’re going to do it as a team,. I think we encourage our players to stand for the national anthem, but we also respect their individual rights. Jeremy coming out and saying that, I respect that and I respect his stance. But we’ll figure out how the players approach it. I respect what he said."
Two years ago, many on the team dressed in "I Can’t Breathe" T-shirts to protest the choking death of Eric Garner, the Staten Island man killed by police over the sales of illegal cigarettes. That protest was organized by Jay-Z.
- Jeremy Lin’s social protest view gets backing from Nets - Brian Lewis - New York Post
- Nets have made no decision on players staging possible protest - Greg Logan - Newsday