Retired Lakers star Kobe Bryant says if he were still playing, he would take a knee in protest.
Kobe Bryant said in a Wednesday appearance on The Hollywood Reporter’s Awards Chatter podcast that he would take a knee during the national anthem before NBA games were he still an active player.
Bryant, who retired in 2016, was asked directly what he would do during the anthem if still in the league, and though he didn’t expound in a rapid-fire segment, said he would kneel in protest, as many athletes in the NFL have chosen to do in solidarity against racism and police mistreatment in America.
Bryant was also asked what he would tell Donald Trump face-to-face, to which he responded, “focus on serving, not leading.”
As the NBA preseason has gotten underway, teams including the Lakers have chosen to lock arms before the game to raise awareness. No NBA player has taken a knee for the anthem yet, although LeBron James and Stephen Curry are among a large NBA contingent that has been vocal against President Donald Trump and his rhetoric. The movement in the NFL began with Colin Kaepernick and has begin to spread into other sports, including Major League Baseball.
Bryant is set to have both his Lakers jerseys (Nos. 8 and 24) retired on Dec. 18.