The NFL, the NBA, and Colin Kaepernick

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick kneels during the national anthem before an NFL football game against the Dallas Cowboys in Santa Clara, Calif., Sunday, Oct. 2, 2016. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick kneels during the national anthem before an NFL football game against the Dallas Cowboys in Santa Clara, Calif., Sunday, Oct. 2, 2016. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

One month away from the start of the NFL season and Colin Kaepernick is still a free agent. By taking a knee during the national anthem in protest, Colin Kaepernick not only became the most controversial player in the NFL but also set an important precedent to which sports leagues will be paying close attention.

NFL owners alike and even the commissioner have released statements insisting that Kaepernick is not blackballed because of his peaceful protest, with the latter encouraging athletes to use their platform “responsibly.” Notorious for speaking his mind, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban did just that when Kaepernick came up.

“I don’t know what his status is in the NFL, but I’m glad the NBA doesn’t have a political litmus test for our players. I’d like to think we encourage our players to exercise their constitutional rights,” said Cuban. “The NBA is such a global game, I think our players’ exposure to different political systems among their teammates may help them appreciate our country even more and encourage their participation.”

The NBA has a relatively solid track record recently when it comes to social issues, allowing NBA players to protest peacefully in regards to the killing of unarmed Black men by police and the Donald Sterling saga.

 

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