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Kobe Bryant says he’d kneel during national anthem if he were still playing

Los Angeles v San Antonio Spurs

SAN ANTONIO, TX - DECEMBER 11: Kobe Bryant #24 of the Los Angeles Lakers sings the national anthem before the game against the San Antonio Spurs at AT&T Center on December 11, 2015 in San Antonio,Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Ron Cortes/Getty Images)

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What would Kobe Bryant do during the national anthem if he were still playing?

Kobe, via The Hollywood Reporter:


I mean, maybe. But no NBA player has enacted that protest since Colin Kaepernick started the trend, and the league is pressuring players to stand.

In 2004 free agency, Kobe said he could see himself playing for the Clippers, who were owned by Donald Sterling, whose history of racism was already known. When Sterling’s racist audio recording caused a firestorm a decade later and Kobe was locked into a Lakers contract, Kobe proclaimed he couldn’t play for him.

There’s nuance to both situations, but it’s also easier to say you’d take a brave stance in a situation you know you won’t face than to actually take a brave stance.