Colin Kaepernick sought out Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony's advice the night he began his national anthem protest, Anthony told The Undefeated's Howard Bryant.
Anthony has become known for being outspoken on social issues, which led Kaepernick to ask him for his thoughts on his fledgling protest of racial injustice.
"I spoke to him that night," Anthony said. "He reached out to me that night. And I’m watching and I’m like, 'OK.' Like, 'What’s next?' In a very respectful way, he was like, 'I took this step and, you know, just wanted to get your thoughts on what’s happening.' And I said, 'Well, you’re courageous.' I said, 'You just showed a lot of courage in what you just did, but now is the hard part because you have to keep it going. So if that was just a one-time thing, then you’re f-----. But now you keep it going and be articulate and elaborate on why you’re doing it, and be educated and knowledgeable of why you’re doing it so when people ask, you can stand up for what you believe in and really let them hear why.'"
Kaepernick has continued his protest, which began during the preseason, through each week of the NFL's regular season. He has repeatedly responded to critics who have called him unpatriotic, and has also pledged to financially support various community organizations.
Anthony has also publicly spoken out on race, police violence and community involvement, joining NBA stars LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Paul on stage at this year's ESPYs in a speech calling for change.
"We asked to start the show tonight this way,” Anthony opened, “the four of us talking to our fellow athletes with the country watching, because we cannot ignore the realities of the current state of America. ...The urgency to create change is at an all-time high."
Anthony has encouraged other athletes to join in using their platforms to call for social change.