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Kyrie Irving speaking out has similarities to Colin Kaepernick, claims Lloyd Pierce

NBA, Kyrie Irving, Colin Kaepernick, Lloyd Pierce

Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving has been the talk of the NBA town of late. For Atlanta Hawks head coach Lloyd Pierce, Irving’s situation reminds him a bit of Colin Kaepernick.

Irving was recently identified as the main instigator of the movement involving NBA players not wanting to participate in the NBA’s bubble in Florida. The 28-year-old has been on the receiving end of a ton of criticism, being labeled as a disruptor by some folk, which is what happened to Kaepernick when he kneeled during the national anthem to protest police brutality. This is simply not the case for Pierce, who has nothing but good things to say about Irving fighting for a cause he believes in:

“It’s the (Colin) Kaepernick situation,” Pierce said, via David Aldridge of The Athletic. “Players that want to draw attention and keep attention on the real issues at hand. I said, I’m not too concerned on the act. If they want to kneel; if they want to throw a fist up in the air; if they want to link arms; if they want to wear a t-shirt, I’m not going to sit here and keep focusing on the act. And that becomes, that’s the title, that’s the headline, that’s everything everyone wants. And now we’ve ignored the real point, which is the issue at hand that Kaepernick talked about – discrimination, and race issues, and police brutality. Let’s keep talking about that, and I will support anyone that’s willing to talk about it.

“So, with Kyrie’s situation, you have to. And we understand. When you have a mic put in front of you, and someone takes your message the wrong way, well, now, that’s the topic. That’s the conversation. You want to be educated in terms of what you can do, how you say it, knowing you’re going to be critiqued. But that shouldn’t hold you back from saying what you need to say and being who you need to be.”

In a way, Pierce is agreeing with the notion of Irving being labeled as a disruptor — except that Pierce sees this as a good thing. In the mind of the Hawks coach, the mere fact that Irving is being talked about so much right now around the NBA means that he is being effective in terms of achieving his goal. According to Pierce, Irving’s ultimate objective is to force the people to keep talking about the bigger issue at hand, which is the fight against systemic racism.

It wasn’t until years later that people began to realize the value of Kaepernick’s protest, so perhaps this is also something Kyrie Irving will experience in the future.