San Francisco 49ers‘ quarterback Colin Kaepernick was not the first player to protest the National Anthem, and clearly, he was not the last. Colin Kaepernick was joined by 49ers’ teammate Eric Reed first. That would eventually spread to several NFL teams.
According to a few NBA rumors, expect some NBA players to protest the anthem in some capacity as well. That is according to one up and coming NBA star.
Is it just one of the typical NBA rumors or is it actually going to happen? Will NBA players decide to boycott the National Anthem as several NFL players have? Oklahoma City Thunder guard Victor Oladipo believes so.
What Victor Oladipo had to say about Colin Kaepernick’s stance was interesting. It seemed as if he was predicting the future.
“Oh, no question. I truly believe it will. Because at the end of the day it’s a sport, and people are gonna be looking at some guys in the NBA to see what they’re gonna do as well. At the end of the day you just control what you can control, so your opinion is your opinion, that’s the beauty of the United States, so, do whatever you feel is best that will help you do whatever you believe.”
While Oladipo did not come out and say that he will do something to protest the anthem, he said that some players will.
“You can only control so much, you can only control what you can control, and the most things you can control is yourself. So whatever you believe, believe in to the utmost. But I think definitely, we’ll see a few guys in the NBA doing the same thing.”
As of now, what the NBA players will do in solidarity with Colin Kaepernick is just rumors and speculation.
If any of the NBA players protest the anthem as the rumors are suggesting, they will not be the first to do it. Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf did it in 1996 while playing for the Denver Nuggets. Abdul-Rauf chose not to stand for the anthem because of his Muslim faith. Colin Kaepernick’s stance on the anthem serves as a quick reminder for those who remember what Abdul-Rauf did.
Despite his religious faith, Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf was suspended and fined $32,000. It is a rule in the NBA that a player must stand for the anthem. Abdul-Rauf was a victim to that rule.
The former NBA standout recalls his fate of being blackballed by the league with the Undefeated. Abdul-Rauf fears the same will happen to Colin Kaepernick starting with the 49ers.
“It’s a process of just trying to weed you out. This is what I feel is going to happen to [Kaepernick]. They begin to try to put you in vulnerable positions. They play with your minutes, trying to mess up your rhythm. Then they sit you more. Then what it looks like is, well, the guy just doesn’t have it anymore, so we trade him.”
Like Colin Kaepernick deciding to kneel during the anthem as a compromise, Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf bowed his head and prayed.
What happened in 1996 is something that Abdul-Rauf does not regret. And he still does not stand for the anthem this very day. Although, his story may turn out to be a deterrent for some NBA players to protest the anthem.