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David West has been protesting anthem since he was a Hornet

david west

Colin Kaepernick has been at the forefront of all the of the protest talk, but he’s not the first professional athlete to silently protest.

Golden State Warriors power forward David West says he’s been protesting since his days with the New Orleans Hornets by standing last in line and two feet behind his teammates during the playing of ‘The Star-Spangled Banner.’

West’s personal motivations are much deeper than Kaepernick’s. He tells The Undefeated’s Marc J. Spears in a loaded conversation that African-Americans have more to deal with than just police violence.

What about education? What about infant mortality? How about how we die younger and our babies die sooner? We die. (Black men) have the shortest life expectancy. C’mon, man. The health care system? There are so many (issues). …

I can’t start talking about civic issues. I can’t start talking about civility and being a citizen if m—–f—— don’t even think I’m a human being. How can you talk about progress and how humans interrelate with one another when you don’t even recognize our humanity? We got to somehow get that straight first so we’re on the same playing field. And that’s how I feel. There is just a lot of stuff, man.

West is more skeptical than most about Kaepernick’s protest message because, he isn’t sure about its long term impact.

What he is doing is great, but I think it’s going to pass, too. I’m not as optimistic about everything as everyone always seems to be. I don’t wear it on my sleeve like I used to. I’ve gotten older and a little bit more mature in terms of my thinking. But I understand human rights issues.

The Warriors’ preseason game against the Toronto Raptors on Saturday was the very first time West’s protest has ever been noticed.

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