Shaq on Collin Kaepernick: There are “other ways to get your point across”

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Jabari Parker has Collin Kaepernick’s back. Stephen Curry wouldn’t go that far but applauded him for taking a stand.

Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal — whose father served in the military for years — doesn’t see it that way. Here’s what he said in an interview on Fox and Friends on Fox News (hat tip 24/7 Sports).

“I don’t know Colin, but again, to each his own. I don’t really have a say on it, but I would never do that. My father was a military man, and you know, he protected this country. Uncles are in law enforcement, you know, they go out and work hard every day.

“Just, (there are) other ways to get your point across.”

“My question is, how come you didn’t do it last year? Or how come you didn’t do it when you first entered the NFL?”

As Dave Zirin pointed out on Twitter, back in 1996 when Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf wouldn’t stand for the anthem before NBA games because he saw the flag as a sign of oppression, Shaq was only one of a handful of athletes who supported his right to this protest. (Steve Kerr was another, just as an aside.) I’d be curious to hear how he views this as different.

Two other quick thoughts. One is simply that Shaq has his right to his opinion on Kaepernick’s choice, but nobody should oppose his right to protest. Second, Shaq got sucked into doing what Curry more skillfully avoided, making the issue respect for the flag and not the issue of treatment of minorities in this country that Kaepernick wants to discuss.