Ben McLemore may not be a household name for NBA fans, but he has been making waves in the media after recent comments about the National Anthem kneeling in the NFL.
According to a McLemore in a recent interview with TMZ Sports, athletes should always represent the country.
“You should always represent our nation. That’s how I feel. I think you always should. In their case, it’s getting lost, but for our sport in the NBA, I think it’s not. We show appreciation to the nation.”
McLemore did issue a statement following the interview being released.
— Ben McLemore (@BenMcLemore) August 26, 2018
Over the past couple of NFL seasons, the anthem protests took full stage with Colin Kaepernick being the first to start the trend. There has been a lot of drama associated with the protests, especially with the President of the United States, Donald Trump, taking on the players in the NFL who are carrying out the protests.
Outside of kneeling, there have been other ways that players have shown unity. Among those other ways are locking arms during the playing of the National Anthem before games.
Adam Silver and the NBA have not had the same issue. Players have not protested the National Anthem, although there has been drama between Trump and the league in recent weeks. Trump and LeBron James have gone back and forth in the media, with Trump taking to Twitter to insinuate that James was “dumb.”
Trump talked about the protests in one of his rally’s in Ohio and said that he thinks it hurts the league when players protest and the television stations not broadcasting the playing of the National Anthem. He also said that the ratings are dropping for the NFL because of the protests.
“What are they doing? Do they not have a clue? It’s hurt them badly too. It’s continuing. They think they’re doing something smart by not broadcasting the national anthem.”
Some may not agree that the protests have anything to do with viewership. That being said, plenty of fans have come out to say that they are no longer watching football or supporting their teams due to the protests. No matter what the truth actually is, the National Anthem issue has become a major storyline for fans to watch.
McLemore is one of the few athletes that have come out against the protests and stated that his view does not match kneeling. Other big names have supported NFL players kneeling during the anthem in the past.
Expect to see athletes continue weighing in on the topic as the NFL season gets underway. We have certainly not heard the last of the National Anthem protests.