Although the NFL didn’t hesitate to protest the national anthem to the extent it did, the NBA is still a quiet place with no signs of protests. The most basic form of protests we were able to see in the NBA was the ‘traditional’ arm lock prior to a game.
Shaquille O’Neal and Charles Barkley recently gave answers to how they consider the anthem ought to be treated and what they would do if they were still in the game:
— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) October 17, 2017
O’Neal, for instance, noted he would be on the standing side of things.
“When you do it at a moment during the National Anthem — and I know people say it’s not about the flag — but when you do it in that moment, there’s a large majority of people that say you are disrespecting the flag and they won’t even listen to your conversation,” O’Neal said.
“When you give people a choice to listen or not to listen, they’re always going to go to the excuses,” he added.
The superstar player, who was raised by an Army sergeant father, noted that “if you disrespect the flag, I’m not gonna listen to you.”
He further noted that if it came to protesting the anthem, he would do it in a peaceful and civil way.
In addition, O’Neal explained he would “try to do it much bigger” and would organize massive press conferences.
“When I always look at the photos of Jim Brown, Muhammad Ali, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, they held a press conference and they made their case known. I would do it like that,” O’Neal said. “Because when you do it like, respectfully, people have no choice but to listen.”
Following his answers, Charles Barkley stated that the anthem protests are amounting to very little, which is not the way to go.
“I’m sick of hearing about protests. It’s time for us to push some action,” Barkley said. “I’m proud of the NFL players for finally getting together with the owners today, talking about prison reform and things like that.
“We have spent so much time, worrying about who’s kneeling and who’s got the fist up, and we have not come up with solutions. So, I’m sick of hearing about the anthem protests… Everybody! We’re all in this together. It ain’t a black or white thing. It ain’t a cop against people. It’s all of us.”
“Man, we gotta start putting our money where our mouth is.”