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Lakers’ LeBron James explains why he didn’t kneel when Colin Kaepernick was first exiled from NFL

LeBron-James-Colin-Kaepernick-Lakers

NBA fans around the globe tuned in on Thursday night for the resumption of the regular season, which is taking part in what’s being called the “Orlando bubble.” As part of the opening ceremonies, Lakers superstar LeBron James joined several other players and coaches in a Colin Kaepernick-like sign of protest, kneeling with their arms locked together as the national anthem played.

In the recent past, James has stood for the anthem. LeBron has always respected Kaepernick’s fight, but he felt that his voice could be used as a more powerful tool.

Via The Athletic:

“I salute Colin Kaepernick for being as powerful as he was and being the one who had to fall on his sword unfortunately,” LeBron said in the fall of 2017. “For me personally, my voice is more important than my knee.”

Now, though, with the Black Lives Matter movement gaining more and more momentum, LeBron James says he has educated himself more on the purpose behind Kaepernick’s kneeling:

“I just don’t think at that point in time I wasn’t fully educated,” LeBron said when I asked about it. “Strengthening the mind, reading, listening, getting as educated as I can be on any situation, on anything that’s going on. I’ve been always who I am. And until I’m fully educated and I’m fully aware of what’s going on, then I call for action. I feel like at that time I wasn’t fully educated on the purpose, what is the purpose at hand. And honestly, Kaep has taught me a lot about that. That’s what it was.”

James and the Lakers went on to defeat the Clippers in what proved to be a heated matchup. Though his scoring didn’t come alive until the second and third quarters, The King still managed to finish with 16 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists. Anthony Davis led the charge for the Lake Show, racking up 34 points, eight rebounds and four assists.

The Lakers will be back in action on Saturday, when they’ll face the Toronto Raptors. Tip-off is set for 8:30 p.m. ET, with ESPN having live broadcast coverage.