OAKLAND -- The Warriors took note of the protests sweeping through the NFL on Sunday. They saw players dropping to their knees and raising fists during the national anthem as a way to spotlight the fight for equality.
“The NFL players are doing a great job of sending a great message,” forward Kevin Durant said Sunday after practice. “We stand behind them as athletes and we support them as well.”
As of Sunday afternoon, though, no decision had been made regarding any action they might take when the anthem is played before their preseason opener next Saturday at Oracle Arena.
“It’s not something we’re talking about right now,” coach Steve Kerr said.
“I don’t think we have to have stance on the anthem,” forward Andre Iguodala said.
Kerr, Durant and Iguodala are well aware that the Warriors were crucial to the cause that gained momentum this weekend. After President Donald Trump crudely urged NFL owners to fire any players that demonstrated during the anthem on Friday, he followed up on Saturday by scolding Warriors superstar Stephen Curry and announcing that the NBA champions would not be invited to the White House for the traditional celebration with the president.
Those two actions by Trump spurred players from the NFL and NBA, as well as owners and commissioners from both leagues, to respond to the president for his divisive rhetoric.
“I just don’t agree with our president that’s in office right now,” Durant said. “I don’t believe in what he believes in, and I’m all about equality. I’m not a real big politics guy, but I know right from wrong and I feel like I know how people are supposed to be treated. We don’t agree on those things.”
Though the demonstrations would like to send a message to Trump, they are more specifically directed toward two issues to which he has aligned: racism and police brutality. Those are the original causes for which former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick took a knee before every national anthem last season.
The Warriors have a week to decide what, if anything, they do the next time they take the court for the anthem.
“I don’t know . . . we know what’s going on, but we definitely want to stay locked in on our work,” Durant said. “But, also, we want to talk these things out. Our coaching staff and our organization (do) a great job of making sure we come together and (collaborate) on these topics and talk about these topics as a group.”