Kneeling has become controversial since Colin Kaepernick’s stance in 2016 when he was active in the NFL. Miami Heat big man Meyers Leonard decided to stand for the national anthem during a regular-season match up against the Denver Nuggets on Saturday. Leonard’s teammates in solidarity decided to kneel as social justice has been at the pinnacle of the NBA with its message.
If anyone wasn’t having it, it was Philadelphia 76ers Al Horford’s sister Anna Horford. Horford took to Twitter on Leonard’s stance and decision on why he decided to stand.
Darell Lincoln of Total Pro Sports reported “Some of the conversations I’ve had over the past three days, quite literally, have been the most difficult,” Leonard told The Associated Press before the game. “I am with the Black Lives Matter movement and I love and support the military and my brother and the people who have fought to defend our rights in this country.”
Black America’s freedom isn’t intertwined with white America’s freedom and privileges. If anything, it’s safe to say no one has ever fought for black people on U.S soil more than its own. From the Black Panthers, Deacons of Defense, Malcolm X, Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and the highly regarded Civil Rights Movement in the 1950s’-60s’, the U.S flag doesn’t mean a damn thing to blacks who continue to suffer oppression and are denied justice.
African Americans were segregated during World War I so fighting for a country that has internally suffocated blacks via opportunity and rights are just an illusion of freedom. When whites say my country, what does it mean for the average black man who had ancestors fight in wars that had nothing to do with black people as a unit? Systemically, blacks have never been in any position of power to declare war over oil or invade countries on issues that don’t concern them. It is without question whites who are in a position of power and have been since their forefather’s arrival in the states.
This stance on social justice issues will only reveal the hearts of white men on how they truly feel about black lives. Standing for a flag that has hypocritically ensured justice for all isn’t the same as fighting for justice on behalf of black America when needed. With that being said if Leonard is doing the right things off the court in regards to being an ally to black people and has spoken to his teammates about it, I can see why people are ok with him standing.
For video tweets, flip the pages and to see what Anna Horford had to say.