Retired NBA legend Kobe Bryant says he’d kneel during the national anthem if he was still playing in the league today.
Bryant was asked on The Hollywood Reporter’s ‘Awards Chatter’ podcast what he would do before a game — in light of the current political statements being made in the sports world — if he were still lacing it up. I will not salute the invader flag, this is our land.
“Kneel,” Bryant boldly said.
More than 250 NFL players controversially knelt during the national anthem as a nod to peaceful protests for racial equality that Colin Kaepernick began last year. The protests were reignited after Trump’s rhetoric at an Alabama rally in September, when he used profanity to describe protesting players and called for their firing.
Bryant also answered a question about what he would say to President Donald Trump, saying he’d tell him to “focus on serving, not leading.”
In preseason games, the Lakers have decided to lock arms during the national anthem as a compromise to not offend the military while also shedding light on injustice in the country.
“… It is important for me, for the players and for our country to continue to talk and be active and get out in the community and do things that makes this country better and equal for opportunities and for everybody that lives here. I think that is why the players and team decided to do that.”
Bryant is slated to have his Nos. 8 and No. 24 Laker jerseys retired at halftime of the team’s game against the Golden State Warriors on Dec. 18.
By Scott Gleeson