LeBron James will stand during anthem, respects Colin Kaepernick's protest

Media day is the first chance reporters have to ask NBA players and coaches about the things going on in today's pro sports climate. One of those things currently is standing or protesting during the playing of the national anthem before sporting events. The NFL has been going through certain players deciding to kneel, sit, or lock arms in solidarity during the playing of the anthem, which is a movement that was galvanized by Colin Kaepernick choosing to kneel.

Now we'll see which NBA players decide to follow suit. Gregg Popovich talked about understanding why athletes are doing this and respecting the courage it takes to do it. Cleveland Cavaliers star LeBron James was asked Monday his stance on the issue and whether or not he'll choose to stand during the anthem. LeBron articulated in his response both respect for what Kaepernick and others have done while stating he will choose to stand for the Anthem at the same time.

"First of all, I'm all in favor of anyone -- athlete or non-athlete -- being able to express what they believe in in a peaceful manner. That's exactly what Colin Kaepernick is doing and I respect that. I think you guys know that when I'm passionate about something, I speak upon it. Me standing for the national anthem is something I will do. That's who I am. That's what I believe in. But that doesn't mean I don't respect and don't agree with what Colin Kaepernick is doing.

"You have the right to voice your opinion, stand for your opinion, and he's doing it in the most peaceful I've ever seen someone do. What I do not like about the situation is the negative attention that's been thrown upon him from certain people because it's not deserved. He was very educated, very smart, very candid, and very demanding about what he wanted to do. And he didn't ask anybody else to join him. He did it in the most peaceful manner I've ever seen someone stand up and do something. So I can respect that."

This comes just a couple of months after LeBron joined Chris Paul, Carmelo Anthony, and Dwyane Wade on stage at the ESPYs to address what's going on between minority communities and the police in society. LeBron and his peers asked for peace during the news of police shootings and social activism in response to these incidents. Kaepernick on the other hand hasn't asked for peace but has requested justice and that these situations stop popping up.

This is going to continue to be a topic at the forefront of society and the sporting world moving forward, as it has seemed to gain momentum when most of these conversations lose steam. James and others will continue to stand for the anthem before their games, but there will be others who speak out and decide not to in response to the national conversation happening.

CBS Sports Writer

Zach Harper likes basketball. Some would even say he loves it. He's also an enthusiast for everything Ricky Davis, Rasheed Wallace, Nic Cage, and has seen the movie Gigli almost three times. He's been... Full Bio

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