During an interview with The Undefeated‘s Jemele Hill, the recently retired Kobe Bryant voiced his support for Colin Kaepernick’s national anthem protests. Bryant said that if he were still playing in the NBA today, he too would be taking a knee, despite it being a violation of the League’s policy:
— The Undefeated (@TheUndefeated) February 12, 2018
Yeah, I would have participated in it, for sure. 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…
I think we understand this is a free country. I think we have the right to peaceful protest.
And by the way, from my point of view, that’s what the flag represents as well. The ability to speak. The ability to voice your opinion. And everybody is entitled to that. So everybody getting up in arms about it, they’re certainly in their right to do that, as we’re certainly in our right to protest – peacefully at that.
The NBA issued a memo back in September warning players and coaches not to protest during the anthem.