Steve Ballmer explains why kneeling during anthem is not an NBA issue
Always known as a vocal and emotional leader, Los Angeles Clippers team owner Steve Ballmer boldly asserts that the issue of kneeling during the national anthem is not much of an issue in the NBA as compared to the NFL.
Ballmer recently had a guest appearance in HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher as he reiterated his thoughts about the kneeling issue.
“I’ll speak for the NBA. We believe our players should express themselves. We are pleased to see our players express themselves….I encourage our players, use your platform. Speak.”
It could be noted that the league commissioner Adam Silver handed down a memo for the players saying that everyone should stand during the singing of the national anthem. Even so, the NBA has been equally supportive of players who are voicing out their sentiments and opinions on the social issues eminent in the community. Kurt Helin of NBC Sports provided his take on it.
“Part of that is the power dynamic between NBA owners and their star players is different — in the NBA, the elite players have it and own it. In purely practical terms, no NBA owner would push back hard against LeBron James, Chris Paul, Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, or any other star player on a social justice issue because those teams would feel the backlash quickly.
This issue began when former NFL player Colin Kaepernick started kneeling during the anthem as his own way of protest about the social abuse and discrimination happening in the country. The former starting quarterback is still in search for an NFL team to play for this season.