By Dominick Fils-Aimé | October 3, 2016
The Toronto Raptors became the latest professional sports team to participate in the protest against racial inequality, Saturday during their first NBA preseason game against the Golden State Warriors. During the playing of both the Canadian and the United States national anthem’s, the entire Raptors roster and coaching staff opted to lock arms, much like the Seattle Seahawks. The team did so in an effort to further the discussion prompted by 49ers backup quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who began kneeling during the playing of the “Star Spangled Banner” in the NFL preseason.
“We’ve had some great conversations coming from the South, coming from segregation, segregated schools, and going through integration. I’ve experienced a lot of what’s going on first-hand, and fortunately we talked and dealt with each other,” Raptors Coach Dwane Casey said before the game. “Guys were real. Guys have sincere feelings, sincere thoughts, sincere things to talk about and concerns. And that’s what all this is to be about, to induce conversation, and that’s what our players can do.”
Many forget that it was the NBA’s athletes who first made a public statement in concerns to police violence and inner city crime. Nba superstars Carmelo Anthony, LeBron James, Chris Paul and Dwayne Wade got on stage during the Espy’s in suits and ties calmly and civilly communicating to the world that something needs to be done. Nothing happened though, until Kaepernick’s protest made some Americans agitated and uncomfortable.
If anything, Saturdays expression indicates the likelihood that the NBA will be used as a platform to bring awareness to racial injustice. The Golden State Warriors stood for the pledge as anticipated. Despite understanding the reality of racial inequality, NBA studs such as Stephen Curry and LeBron James have asserted that they will stand for the National anthem, choosing to combat such issues in their own way.