Thunder GM hopes OKC players don’t protest national anthem, but team will respect their rights

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With a push for more social activism among NBA players, with the situation they want to talk about not getting any better, you can be sure that some NBA players will follow the lead of the 49ers Collin Kaepernick in kneeling during the national anthem.

You can be just as sure the NBA league office and teams have discussed how to handle all of this.

Thunder GM Sam Presti was asked Wednesday about his team’s response to potential protests, and his answer likely echoes what the entire league will say when games start. Via Royce Young of ESPN:

“Our viewpoint on it is obviously we’ve had players and staff stand for the national anthem over the past eight years. We’d love to see that continue. At the same time, our players have the opportunity and ability to express themselves as people, and we respect that above all.”

Politically, the NBA is the most progressive of the major sports leagues in this nation, and it’s core demographic — younger and more urban than other leagues — is more sympathetic to the cause kneeling players want to discuss than those others. Which means it makes more sense for the NBA to stand back and let the players do what they want than other leagues — the NBA faces less of a backlash.

This issue is not going off the front burner for professional sports anytime soon. Certainly not in this election cycle.