Kobe Bryant Says That He Would Protest the National Anthem if He Were Still Playing

AP Kobe Bryant
The Associated Press

Kobe Bryant hasn’t said too much about anything but basketball, since retiring from the game in 2016. However, that all changed when he sat down for an interview with ESPN.

Bryant recently spoke with former SportsCenter and current Undefeated writer, Jemele Hill. Bryant told Hill that he would have protested the anthem if he were still playing.

“Yeah, I would have participated in it, for sure,” Bryant said. “I’m sure I would have gotten some flak for it. That’s fine. I think that Colin’s message was a very simple one. It was police brutality needs to stop. We need to take a look at that.”

Bryant also said that he believes the protests would have gone over fine in NBA locker-rooms.

“From my experience in the locker room, it doesn’t seem like any of the players that I played with certainly would have had an issue with that,” he said. “I think we understand this is a free country. I think we have the right to peaceful protest.”

However, despite Bryant’s bold proclamations about protesting, if he wanted to mimic Colin Kaepernick’s protest he wouldn’t have been able to do it in the NBA. The league has had a rule requiring players to stand for the anthem, dating back to the early nineties.

Bryant knows this of course, which makes his statement to Hill nothing but mere grand standing. After all, the NBA has no shortage of players who supported Colin Kaepernick and oppose President Trump, Steph Curry and LeBron James, the two biggest stars in the league, just to name two. Doesn’t it seem odd that neither of them have protested?

That’s because it’s against the rules.

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