A Muslim teammate of LeBron James calls reports that he skipped the national anthem at Wednesday’s game “a big misunderstanding” after initially telling reporters he bowed out for religious reasons.
“It’s because of my religion,” Dion Waiters told Cleveland.com of his absence during the pregame ritual. “That’s why I stayed in the locker room.”
The third-year shooting guard, who averages 15.1 points-per game for his career, reiterated on Friday the religious motivation for missing the song.
“I don’t really want to talk about that,” Waiters explained to reporters about staying in the locker room during “The Star Spangled Banner.” “It’s my religion. I don’t really want to talk about that. I want to talk about basketball. I’m not being rude, but, you know.”
But by Sunday shooting guard sang a different tune about skipping the famous tune.
“Big misunderstanding,” Waiters maintained about his interactions with Cleveland-area reporters. “I love my country. I love the United States of America. I’d rather be here than any place else. It was just a big misunderstanding on both parts.”