National Anthem Protests: What We Could See From Both LA Teams

(Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
(Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images) /

To be clear, there has been no news or reports about any legitimate National Anthem protests by NBA teams on opening day or any point in the season.

In a time where opinions can be as divisive and sharp as a two-edged sword, it’s important to remember just how much sports has been woven into our culture as Americans. Seeing the NFL act in solidarity following comments from President Donald Trump against the anthem protests simply could spark something during the NBA’s regular season.

There have been various forms of National Anthem protests so far; including raising a fist in the air, kneeling individually, kneeling as a team, sitting on the bench, stretching, and even sitting out the anthem in the locker room in its entirety.

Knowing this, it is still hard to gauge what the reaction from NBA players will be. Some might say that it won’t happen with that sport, but it would seem almost certain that the protest wouldn’t find its way into America’s pastime in baseball — but it did.

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The reason this is something worth bringing up is because opening night for both the Clippers and Lakers will be on Oct. 19 in Los Angeles. Lonzo Ball and the new-look Lakers will be hosting the Chris Paul-less Clippers in what could decide how the fight for Los Angeles goes from here.

We’ve known LaVar Ball to be the kind of guy that likes to make bold statements — and there’s nothing wrong with that. It’s doubtful we’d see a protest from him individually, but we could see some sort of influence as the season opener draws near.

It’s important to remember that more often than not, athletes shouldn’t be told to stick to sports. They’re people too, and in a time such as this, we must remember that they have first amendment rights just as much as the next person in this country.

A protest in Los Angeles would be an opportunity for two of the more popular teams in the league to send a message to their colleagues. This would be the case especially if no other protests take place to start things off.

Even then, the protest does not need to be done disrespectfully. It’s an opportunity to act and respond as a city instead of as two completely different teams, as we’ve also seen happen in the NFL during Week 3.

What will be interesting to see is if there are owners, coaches, or other staff involved in the potential NBA protests or not. NFL owners like Jerry Jones of the Dallas Cowboys and Shad Khan of the Jacksonville Jaguars have made it clear where they stand and it is on the side of their players and the right to express themselves through protest.

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Other than that, it’s a waiting game until late October. From there, though, things could get interesting around the league.