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Dan Gilbert calls kneeling during national anthem ‘poor example,’ hopes no Cavalier does it

New York Knicks v Cleveland Cavaliers

CLEVELAND, OH - OCTOBER 25: Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert speaks in front of the Larry O’Brien championship trophy before a game against the New York Knicks at Quicken Loans Arena on October 25, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)

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Cavaliers guard Iman Shumpert indicated before the season he’d kneel for the national anthem then reversed course.

That seems to be a relief to Cavs owner Dan Gilbert, who came out against Colin Kaepernick and anyone who has followed the lead of the 49ers quarterback.

Louis Aguilar of The Detroit News:

Gilbert said it was “bad choice.”

“There’s a million ways you can express yourself and you should do that, for sure. Taking a knee in the United States of America while millions of people are watching, I think it’s a poor example,” Gilbert said.

What would Gilbert do if a Cavalier decided to take such action?

“I hope we don’t ever have to come with that,” Gilbert said.

Mark Burns of SportTechie:

How benevolent of Gilbert to look out for Kaepernick and his followers – and Gilbert is right. It’s not good for them personally. Kaepernick has been vilified. But Kaepernick has also raised awareness for an important issue: the degree to which black people are discriminated against in America. Kaepernick has risked his career to speak out for others. Until Gilbert has a better suggestion for how Kaepernick can generate more attention to the cause, it’s not enough to call kneeling during the anthem a poor way to protest.

Players have power to affect change. See the the situation with the 76ers, who banned an anthem singer wearing a “WE MATTER” jersey. Philadelphia players considered protest, management backed down and Streeter was invited back.

Stand for the anthem or don’t stand for the anthem. Players should make that choice for themselves.

But they should also realize Gilbert’s point of view when he said kneeling is bad for the sport. Bad for the black players who populate the NBA? Or bad for Gilbert’s bottom line? “The sport” is such a vague term, and not everyone in it has the same interests.

No matter why NBA players have stood for the national anthem, the owners who want to silence them are succeeding.