Like any pro athlete, the Nets saw this weekend’s events as a shock to the system. In Alabama, the heart of football country, the President of the United States dismissed the protests of players who kneel for the national anthem as disrespect for the flag... an attempt to de-legitimatize their concerns over racism and police brutality.
...and he told NFL owners to fire them.
If a player wants the privilege of making millions of dollars in the NFL,or other leagues, he or she should not be allowed to disrespect....— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 23, 2017
He continued his assault of pro athletes on Saturday, this time disinviting the Golden State Warriors’ Stephen Curry from a traditional White House celebration of the team’s victory. Ironically, it came after Curry said he didn’t intend to go, to protest comments the President has made ... and not made.
Going to the White House is considered a great honor for a championship team.Stephen Curry is hesitating,therefore invitation is withdrawn!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 23, 2017
Athletes and in some cases, their owners and coaches, protested Sunday in solidarity with those who the President dissed. LeBron James was the most harsh.
U bum @StephenCurry30 already said he ain't going! So therefore ain't no invite. Going to White House was a great honor until you showed up!— LeBron James (@KingJames) September 23, 2017
Now, the Nets will consider what role they should play... and under what circumstances... in solidarity with their fellow athletes. Jeremy Lin, who has protested vociferously against bias directed at Asians and Asian-Americans, said the team will discuss it. But he also noted that it’s his belief that it’s time to “take a stand.”
“I think for me, my whole take on that is definitely we, as an organization, the Nets, we have to discuss it, the players, coaches, front office,” said Lin. “I don’t think we’re going to see any one person individually do anything. If we do anything, it would be as a team.
“Related to what’s going on right now, I think that it’s great for everyone to take a stand. I really like the way that Steph (Curry) did it. I felt like he did it in a polite way where he wasn’t trying to create hostility or separation. I felt like he was on one end being firm in his beliefs and expressing to everybody what he believes in, and at the same time being gracious about everything and not having any name calling or things like that.”
Lin also called the current political situation “very scary” and “serious.”
Spencer Dinwiddie, who’s long been active politically, said what the President said, particularly characterizing NFL players that protest as “sons of bitches,” was wrong. He said there’s been no discussion yet by the team.
“No. Explicitly in our locker room, we haven’t had conversations about it in terms of what we may or may not do. I don’t know. But, in terms of players kneeling (in the NFL), I support everybody’s right to free speech,” said Dinwiddie.
“Obviously the comments that were made were just wrong. I don’t have any other statement for that. It’s wrong to call anybody a SOB or anything like that. They exercised that right of free speech and I stand with that.”
The Nets guard did say that athletes because of their prominence in American life, can have an influence.
“I think because of our platform, anything athletes do or say that may break the norm, or might not conform to the norm, with the most high human authority that we know, it’s always going to send a message,” said Dinwiddie. “But I think because of our platform and we owe it to society, the same people that give us our power, we owe it to give a little bit back...
“I don’t know what’s going to come this year. It’s early. We still have to get through camp. Whatever it is we decide to do or not do, we’ll do it as a team.”
Quincy Acy also had his views on the situation.
“More power to the guys that are doing it,” said Acy. “I’m here to play basketball at the end of the day. My off-the-court views are my views. I talk with my family and I have my opinion. Right now we doing Media Day for basketball.”