Colin Kaepernick is in the process of suing the NFL for collusion. Kaepernick has alleged that the league is “blackballing” him, and many public figures – especially athletes – have stepped forward, backing Kaepernick. The latest to do so is perhaps the nation’s most high-profile athlete: Cleveland Cavaliers star forward LeBron James. James tells ESPN’s Dave McMenamin that he feels that the NFL is indeed blackballing Kaepernick:
“I love football, but I’m not part of the NFL,” James told ESPN following the Cleveland Cavaliers’ practice Sunday. “I don’t represent the NFL. I don’t know their rules and regulations. But I do know Kap is getting a wrong doing. I do know that. Just watching, he’s an NFL player. He’s an NFL player and you see all these other quarterbacks out there and players out there that get all these second and third chances that are nowhere near as talented as him. It just feels like he’s been blackballed out of the NFL. So, I definitely do not respect that.”
“The only reason I could say he’s not on a team is because the way he took a knee,” James said. “That’s the only reason. I watch football every Sunday, every Thursday, every Monday night. I see all these quarterbacks — first-string, second-team, third-team quarterbacks — that play sometimes when the starter gets hurt or are starters that play. Kap is better than a lot of those guys. Let’s just be honest.”
James compared Kaepernick to Martin Luther King Jr. and Muhammad Ali:
“I’ve commended Kap, and for him to sacrifice everything for the greater good for everyone, for what he truly believed in, the utmost respect to him,” James continued. “Obviously he had a vision like Martin Luther King and like some of our all-time greats that people couldn’t see further than what they were doing at the point and time. And Muhammad Ali and things of that nature. When it’s something that’s new and it’s something that people are not educated about or don’t understand what your beliefs are all about, people are so quick to judge, and people are so quick to say that what you’re doing is wrong. For him to sacrifice the sport that he plays and to sacrifice the things he’s done his whole life because he knew what he believed in, I salute him. I salute and respect that.”
In September, at the Cavs’ media day, James said that he wished he owned an NFL team, because “I’d sign him today.”
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