NBA Rumors: Victor Oladipo, Nick Young & Co. To Protest Anthem?

NBA Rumors: Victor Oladipo, Nick Young & Co. To Protest Anthem?
Victor Oladipo Keith Allison / Flickr CC BY 2.0

Victor Oladipo, Nick Young and several other players are expected to follow in Colin Kaepernick’s footsteps and protest the national anthem during the forthcoming NBA season.


Victor Oladipo, the Oklahoma City Thunder guard, told Complex Sports in an interview that Kaepernick’s protests will follow into the NBA with quite a few players expected to stand or kneel during the national anthem.

Unlike in the NFL, which has given players the right to do as they please, the NBA has a clear ruling which states that players who dishonor the anthem will be fined accordingly.

In 1996, Denver Nuggets player Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf refused to stand for the anthem, stating that the flag was a symbol of oppression. He was subsequently fined $32,000 and faced the risk of being expelled from the league.

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However, Abdul-Rauf, who said standing would conflict with his religious faith, reached a compromise with the league and agreed to stand but close his eyes and look down during the anthem.

Victor Oladipo to sit during anthem?

Oladipo has made it abundantly clear that quite a few players will stand or kneel during the anthem.

“A few people (fellow players) just in general I’ve had conversations with about that, I tell ’em the same thing, people’s beliefs are people’s beliefs, you know what I mean, you can only control so much, you can only control what you can control, and the most things you can control is yourself.

“So whatever you believe, believe in to the utmost. But I think definitely, we’ll see a few guys in the NBA doing the same thing,” Oladipo, who was traded by Orlando Magic to Oklahoma City in July, said during the interview.

Nick Young to sit out anthem…

Nick Young, the Los Angeles Lakers swingman, has already confirmed that he will protest the national anthem.

“I think it’s great (what Colin Kaepernick is doing) …I’m gonna do the same thing, man…my knees hurt but I might sit,” Young told earlier this week.

It’s still too early to speculate the other players who are expected to join Young, but going by Oladipo’s comments, it seems like quite a few players are joining the Kaepernick bandwagon.

Stephen Curry, the league’s reigning MVP, however, has no intention to dishonor the anthem.

“If you follow the way (Kaepernick) talks and the message he’s trying to send with his act, from his mouth, he’s not disrespecting veterans. He’s not disrespecting military. That’s not his intention,” Curry said in a recent interview.

“He’s obviously continued the act to create a conversation for more social justice and things of that nature. So, I’ve been a part of certain conversations off the grid, and finding different ways to make our community better, especially for African-Americans.

“And so, that’s not the way that I would do it, but I support him in his attempt to start a conversation or continue the conversation,” Curry added before confirming that he “will most likely” stand for the anthem.

Victor Oladipo and Nick Young could be slapped with heavy fines if they decide to go the Colin Kaepernick route. The question is: how will Adam Silver and the NBA react?