This is the way LeBron James and Kevin Durant supported Colin Kaepernick during the Super Bowl
In 2016, San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick became the NFL player to take a knee during the national anthem. It was a peaceful protest against racial injustice and police brutality, spurred by a string of alarming incidents where cops killed unarmed black men. Initially, Kaepernick began sitting on the bench during the national anthem. However, US Army special forces veteran Nate Boyer persuaded him to kneel instead because in the military that action is considered respectful.
Despite the seal of approval from an American vet, conservatives found taking a knee during the national anthem profoundly disrespectful - to the flag, to the country and to military veterans. At rallies, Donald Trump blasted the protestors with zeal, declaring them "son of bitches" who should be "fired." Kaepernick became a free agent, and remains one to this day. Supporters claim he's been blacklisted. In protest, celebrities such as Rihanna, Jay-Z and Cardi B have boycotted the NFL, which might explain this year's lackluster Super Bowl halftime show.
During last Sunday's Super Bowl, several celebrities posted on social media to voice their support of Kaepernick, who they believe is being treated unfairly. "For those of you who thought I was watchin the Super Bowl… we beefin," wrote Rihanna on Instagram, alongside a drawing of the 31-year-old quarterback. In response, Kaepernick shared her post with the caption, "appreciate @badgalriri keepin it 💯✊🏾."
But it's not just singers and actors. On Super Bowl weekend, NBA stars LeBron James and Kevin Durant expressed support for Kaepernick by rocking his limited edition No. 7 jersey. Nike began selling the sportswear after making the inspirational activist the face of their new advertising campaign last September. Conservative sports fans were so outraged they posted videos of themselves burning their Nike gear in protest. (That'll show 'em!) Meanwhile, Nike's market value rose to an all-time high of $6 billion.
On Twitter, Kaepernick shared photos of James and Durant rocking his jersey, and thanked them for showing solidarity.
The kneeling protest has become a part of the American culture war, with football fans complaining that politics is ruining their sport. Back in August 2016, Kaepernick responded to the "unpatriotic" criticism, telling the media, "I have great respect for the men and women that have fought for this country... And they fight for freedom, they fight for the people, they fight for liberty and justice, for everyone. That’s not happening. People are dying in vain because this country isn’t holding their end of the bargain up, as far as giving freedom and justice, liberty to everybody."
He continued, "There is police brutality. People of color have been targeted by police. So that’s a large part of it and they’re government officials. They are put in place by the government. So that’s something that this country has to change. There’s things we can do to hold them more accountable. Make those standards higher."