Say what? Outspoken businessman LaVar Ball, who is the father of three talented basketball players including LA Laker Lonzo Ball, had a very clear message for NFL players who kneel for the national anthem: “Get out their league.”
Ball said NFL players are required to “follow the league’s new protocol for the national anthem,” as reported by the Bleacher Report.
On Saturday, Ball told TMZ Sports that the players in his new Junior Basketball Association league must stand for the national anthem, before adding “If you don’t want to do it, get out their league.”
He went to say,”That’s why I got my own league. Do what I want.”
Ball’s controversial comments raised a lot of eyebrows, especially in the wake of NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell’s recent statement pointing out the league’s decision to fine players who refuse to stand for the national anthem:
“The policy adopted today was approved in concert with the NFL’s ongoing commitment to local communities and our country—one that is extraordinary in its scope, resources and alignment with our players. We are dedicated to continuing our collaboration with players to advance the goals of justice and fairness in all corners of our society.
It was unfortunate that on-field protests created a false perception among many that thousands of NFL players were unpatriotic. This is not and was never the case.”
In response to Goodell’s statement, the National Football League Players Association issued a press release on the new anthem policy.Part of the statement reads:
“The NFL chose to not consult the union in the development of this new ‘policy.’ NFL players have shown their patriotism through their social activism, their community service, in support of our military and law enforcement and yes, through their protests to raise awareness about the issues they care about […] Our union will review the new ‘policy’ and challenge any aspect of it that is inconsistent with the collective bargaining agreement.”
Colin Kaepernick, former San Francisco 49ers quarterback, sparked a movement two years ago when he decided to take a knee during the national anthem to raise awareness about and protest the increasing police brutality against people of color across the country.
Forty-nine percent of Americans opposed kneeling during the national anthem, according to a CNN poll last September.