Since the beginning of the NFL season, national anthem protesting has dominated the headlines. And, now that official NBA play is starting, there’s definitely a likelihood that the contagion will spread to America’s hoopsters.
Even though the NBA has a policy that requires players to stand for the national anthem — and Commissioner Adam Silver has said he expects players to abide by it — there’s no doubt going to be some question as to whether players are going to use the anthem as a platform for social grievances
However, two outspoken NBA legends — Shaquille O’Neal and Charles Barkley — dismissed the protests earlier this week during a segment on “NBA on TNT,” where both players are analysts.
“I’m sick of hearing about the anthem protests,” said Barkley, most famous for his time with the Philadelphia 76ers and Phoenix Suns. “We’re all in this thing together. It ain’t a black or white thing. It ain’t a cop against people. It’s all of us.”
O’Neal — who won championships with both the Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat — agreed.
“I agree with Chuck — enough talking,” Shaq said. “When are we going to do something about it? The problem has been … when you allow people to deviate from what you’re trying to do, then they can create other problems.”
He also poured water on the idea that the anthem protests aren’t meant to disrespect the anthem or the flag.
“They always say, ‘We’re not disrespecting the flag.’ But when you allow people to say you are disrespecting the flag by doing it during the national anthem, is the message really being heard?
“So now, like Chuck has said, enough talking. Let’s just get something done (and) make this world a better place,” Shaq concluded.
As we’ve mentioned about a million times previously, if these sports players believe airing their grievances makes the world a better place, there are innumerable opportunities to do it that aren’t on the field and don’t involve the national anthem.
Not only is their method of protest lazy, it’s also deliberately offensive — no matter whether or not they want to say it has nothing to do with the anthem, the flag, or those who fought and served to protect them.
Shaq and Sir Charles got it absolutely right.
H/T Independent Journal Review
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