Players in the NBA are no strangers to speaking out about racial injustice.  They’ve previously worn “I Can’t Breathe” shirts in honor of Eric Garner who was killed by police, and hoodies for Trayvon Martin, whose neighborhood watch killer got off scot-free.  Now with the NBA season steadily approaching, many are wondering if basketball players will kneel for the anthem like others in the NFL have done in support of Colin Kaepernick’s protest against racism and police brutality.  The first NBA media day was held Sept. 27, and players were asked if they will join the protest. Golden State Warriors star Draymond Green, says it’s important to make these issues heard.

“I think it’s important to speak out cause we’re human,” said Green.  “I think a lot of times people say oh, they should talk about this or they shouldn’t talk about this.  I mean me personally, I can really care less of what somebody thinks I should or shouldn’t do.  I am human, I have the right to speak out or do whatever I choose, as well as other guys.

“With the platform that we have, I think a lot of people say they should speak out because people are watching, and I think that’s all personal preference.  I think there are a lot of changes that need to be made.  It’s not just the killing of black people, that’s obviously rough and crazy to me, but there’s a lot of changes that need to be made in this country.”

Like LeBron James, however, Green said he will not kneel for the anthem.

“Obviously, everybody’s been talking about the kneeling and stuff that Colin started, and I respect Colin for that.  He took a stand that he knew would probably create some controversy and he didn’t care, and I respect that because sometimes controversy is needed in order to get a point across, and I think he’s gotten his point across,” said Green.

“Am I gonna kneel down or put my fist up?  No, I’m not, and that’s no disrespect to Colin or anybody else who’s doing it, but the point is out, they’ve gotten the point across.  I don’t think I need to come out and do this national anthem protest, because it’s already been started, it’s already a conversation,” Green continued.

“Like I said, the question is, is there gonna be something done about it?  You can continue to kneel and do all these things, but if nobody is really trying to make the change, I think the number one problem is the people who see a problem with what he’s doing, because that means you’re focused on what he’s doing and not what he’s talking about, and that’s the problem that we have as a whole anyway.”

Green says he’s on the board of a nonprofit organization called “Rise to Win,” which was created to face these issues.  He says he doesn’t need the protest to come out and say what’s wrong.

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