OAKLAND -- Easing into a seat for an interview a half hour after the Warriors finished practice Monday, Draymond Green responded to the first six questions at decibels barely above a whisper.
There was candor on basketball matters, because there always is with Green, but the power forward’s tone was relatively relaxed.
Not until the next several questions, all related to America’s polarizing sociopolitical climate, did Green’s heart and mind lock into rhythm. Asked if he believes the current wave of protests against inequality will go away soon, his voice picked up volume and conviction.
“I hope not,” Green said. “If it goes away, then we still have a problem. So I hope it’s not going away in a few weeks. Then we’ve missed the message again.
“So, no, I don’t think it’ll be gone away in a few weeks. And I pray that it’s not, because it’s not a problem that can be fixed in a few weeks. So, no, it shouldn’t be gone in a few weeks.”
Green acknowledged that he did not see the demonstrations that were spread across the NFL landscape on Sunday. He was, he said, out shopping and enjoying the day with his children.
He was aware that some teams stayed in the locker room during the anthem, that others knelt on the sidelines and that some linked arms. Being aware was not enough for Green to feel comfortable addressing that aspect.
But he’s very familiar with the subject matter.
“You just have to stand for what you believe in,” Green said during an answer than lasted more than two full minutes. “What everyone else may believe in, you may not believe in.”
Articulating the difference between the life of the athlete and that of a soldier, Green explaining that he has the “utmost respect” for those in the military.
“I just hope that there can be an understanding that this isn’t against the military,” he said. “It’s not to disrespect anything they do. Because I think everyone respects what they do . . . I appreciate everything they do.”
It was evident, however, that Green is on the same page as those pushing for the progress that would make America great, allowing the country to live up to its pledges stated in the constitution and elsewhere.
That’s why he hopes this activism is not a trend but a movement.
“I’m not saying kneeling shouldn’t be gone,” Green said. “But this conversation, trying to make these changes, absolutely not. If it’s gone in a few weeks, we’re screwed.”