LeBron James and the rest of the participants in the contest between the Los Angeles Lakers and LA Clippers chose to kneel during the United States national anthem prior to the game.
The NBA provided a strong message during the first day of the season return in Orlando, with LeBron James hoping they made Colin Kaepernick proud.
“I hope we made Kaep proud. I hope we continue to make Kaep proud every single day. I hope I make him proud with how I live my life, not only on the basketball floor but off the floor,” James said after the Lakers’ 103-101 win over the Clippers Thursday, per USA TODAY Sports.
“I’ve been one to always speak out about things that I feel like is unjust. If I’m educated on things, I always go about it that way. So Kaep was someone who stood up when times weren’t comfortable, and people didn’t understand or refused to listen to what he was saying.”
Four years ago, Kaepernick was the first athlete to kneel during the United States national anthem to protest for racial inequality and injustice. While James didn’t follow Kaepernick that time, now he believes that kneeling during the national anthem is a poweful message in the sports platform.
“I just don’t think at that point in time I wasn’t fully educated,” James said on not kneeling four years ago.
“Strengthening the mind, reading, listening, getting as educated as I can be on any situation, on anything that’s going on. I’ve been always who I am. And until I’m fully educated and I’m fully aware of what’s going on, then I call for action. I feel like at that time I wasn’t fully educated on the purpose, what is the purpose at hand. And honestly, Kaep has taught me a lot about that.”