Knicks center Joakim Noah skipped a team dinner with cadets on Thursday night because he’s anti-war, he told reporters on Friday.
The team is currently holding camp at West Point, as they’ve done in the past few years. Noah said that he just doesn’t feel comfortable at the military academy where the dinner was held.
“It’s hard for me a little bit. I have a lot of respect for the kids who are out here fighting,” Noah said, according to the New York Daily News’s Stefan Bondy. “But it’s hard for me to understand why we have to go to war, why kids have to kill kids around the world ... So I have mixed feelings about being here. I’m very proud of this country. I love America but I just don’t understand kids killing kids around the world.”
Judging from this video released by the team, it seems as if every player was present except for Noah:
The Knicks PR account tweeted photos late Friday of Noah spending time with the cadets.
West Point issued the following statement to Bondy:
“The U.S. Military Academy at West Point develops leaders of character for the defense of our Nation. We are disappointed and feel Mr. Noah's choice of West Point to make a statement is inappropriate because of the great sacrifice that has originated from this institution over our Nation's history.”
The 31-year-old veteran signed a four-year, $72 million deal to join the Knicks over the off-season after spending the first eight seasons of his career with the Bulls.
– Kenny Ducey