Sport

Anthem protests would be 'counterproductive', says Curry

Sunday, October 08, 2017

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SHANGHAI, China (AFP) — Two-time MVP Stephen Curry said yesterday it would be “counterproductive” for NBA players to follow their NFL counterparts by kneeling in protest during the national anthem.

Scores of National Football League (NFL) players have taken a knee during the anthem in defiance of US President Donald Trump, who two weeks ago blasted the practice as an insult to the country.

Former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick first began kneeling last year to highlight perceived unjust treatment of African Americans.

Curry had previously said he would likely skip the customary visit by his defending NBA champions Golden State Warriors to the White House over Trump's policies, which prompted the president to revoke the entire team's invitation in a Twitter outburst.

“Anything beyond that is, for me, kind of counterproductive,” Curry said when asked about the possibility of anthem protests in the NBA.

Curry, whose Warriors are in Shanghai for the second of two China preseason games against the Minnesota Timberwolves, said there are better ways, such as being active in their communities, for players to make their views known.

ESPN reported a week ago that the NBA already had sent a memo to teams saying players must stand for the anthem when the season opens on October 17.

Curry's teammate Kevin Durant said he would not kneel but “wouldn't look at it as a surprise” if other players did.

Retired Los Angeles Lakers great Kobe Bryant, in a podcast released on Wednesday by The Hollywood Reporter, said he would kneel during the anthem if he was still playing.

NBA commissioner Adam Silver has said he expects players to stand for the anthem.

Trump's tirade against NFL protesters provoked an unprecedented show of defiance two weeks ago when a large number of mostly black players dropped to one knee during the anthem, while other players stood with arms interlocked.

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