Four years after Colin Kaepernick took a knee on an NFL sideline to protest police killings of Black men, the Milwaukee Bucks would not take the court in a playoff game for the same reason. Specifically, the shooting of Black man Jacob Blake in the back seven times by a White officer at point-blank range, right in front of Blake’s children. That spread to days of postponed games for the NBA while players pushed to get their social justice message on the front page.
LeBron James was in the middle of it all. He was at first adamant about ending the playoffs, but after speaking to former President Barack Obama, coming around to playing again if there was a plan with the league to adjust social justice causes.
Kaepernick appreciated the stance LeBron took and sent him a message via Instagram.
Colin Kaepernick sent a note to LeBron James thanking him for protesting.
LeBron says he's standing/kneeling next to Kap.
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) August 29, 2020
“Four years ago on August 14, 2016, I began protesting against systemic racism and social injustice. Truth is what I sought. Solidarity is what you showed me. Love is what moves us forward.
“Thank you for staying true.”
“Standing/kneeling right next to you brother! Appreciate you.”
LeBron has put his money into the social justice cause, specifically voting rights. LeBron and partners formed “More Than A Vote,” an organization working to register black voters for the November election and teach them how to counter voter suppression tactics. In addition, LeBron has used (and will use again) his social media presence, and the organization, to push back against restrictions on the right to vote.
LeBron has not sacrificed as much as Kaepernick, but the former quarterback understands what he has done.