When the NBA returned to the hardwood to resume a truncated season, LeBron James and most players knelt during the playing of the national anthem in honor of former NFL star Colin Kaepernick. King James even thanked Kaep for his valor in the face of unrelenting ostracism.
“I hope we continue to make him proud,” James said at the time, according to RevoltTV.com.
Kaepernick, 32, reciprocated the gesture by thanking King James, 35, for walking out of his scheduled playoff game against the Portland Trailblazers on Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2020. James and most players were exasperated at the police shooting of Jacob Blake on Sunday, Aug. 23, 2020, in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
Blake, a father of three boys who were in the car at the time he was shot in the back multiple times, is paralyzed from the waist down.
In truth, the Milwaukee Bucks were the first to announce their refusal to play on Wednesday. But James has been the most vocal athlete, by far, on a plethora of sociopolitical issues. Therefore, Kaep deemed it apropos to pen a note to the Los Angeles Lakers superstar.
“Four years ago on Aug. 14, 2016, I began protesting against systemic racism and social injustice,” Kaepernick wrote in an open letter to LBJ. “Truth is what I sought. Solidarity is what you showed me. Love is what moves us forward. Thank you for staying true.”
Colin Kaepernick sent a note to LeBron James thanking him for protesting.
LeBron says he's standing/kneeling next to Kap.
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) August 29, 2020
James wanted to cancel the rest of the NBA season. But a phone call to King James from former President Barack Obama helped thaw the ice around James’ heart and set him and others on a course to resume the playoffs.