LeBron James Can't Breathe

LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers wears an 'I Can't Breathe' shirt during warmups before his game against the Brooklyn Nets during their game at the Barclays Center on December 8, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

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On Monday, LeBron James spoke with the media for the first time this season, and he said that while he respects Colin Kaepernick and his cause, he will not be joining him in choosing not to rise for the national anthem.

“I’m all in favor of anyone — athlete or non-athlete — being able to respect what they believe in a peaceful manner,” James said. “And that’s exactly what Colin Kaepernick is doing, and I respect that.”

–Virginia Beach restaurant tapes Colin Kaepernick jersey to floor

“Standing for the National Anthem is something I will do,” he added. “That’s who I am. That’s what I believe in.”

Despite the difference of opinion, though, James said he was upset by the negative attention Kaepernick had received.

“What I do not like about the situation is the negative attention that has been thrown upon him from certain people. ‘Cause it’s not deserved. He was very educated. Very smart. Very candid. And very demanding about what he wanted to do. And he didn’t ask anybody else to join him. And he did it in the most peaceful manner I’ve ever seen someone stand up and do something. So I can respect that.”

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