The wake over anthem protests has spread to past athletes as well, and one who said they would be willing to still take a knee is retired NBA great Kobe Bryant, according to The Black Loop. The info came from an interview with ESPN’s Jemele Hill.
“Yeah, I would have participated in it, for sure,” Bryant told Hill during a taping of “Dear Black Athlete” for The Undefeated. “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.” While he expressed support for Kaepernick, this marks the first time he ever actually shared his personal stance on the issue. He also mentioned that his teammates at the time would have had his back as well.
“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,” Bryant explained. “I think we understand this is a free country. I think we have the right to peaceful protest.”
Kobe has stood with Kaepernick before, taking part in the athlete’s Million Dollar Pledge of philanthropy, which he completed back in January.
“This man is one of the greatest athletes in the world, a husband, father, family man, businessman, global icon, with not one, but two jerseys retired! The Black Mamba – Kobe Bryant!!! @kobebryant thank you so much for always leading by example and being a great role model for our young brothers and sisters. I was extremely humbled upon hearing that you wanted to join the #MillionDollarPledge #10for10 #Encore with a donation to Youth Service Inc from your hometown of Philadelphia, PA.
Thank you so much for always inspiring the youth and always doing work within the community. Together everyone involved in the Million Dollar Pledge has donated $1,205,000 to communities fighting for social justice! See all the good work Youth Service Inc is doing as well all the organizations that are part of my #MillionDollarPledge on kaepernick7.com!”
Kaepernick posted on Instagram at the start of this month, along with a video of Kobe announcing that he would match a donation to the local non-profit.