Colin Kaepernick has been publicly protesting the national anthem for more than a month now and has received both praise and criticism for doing it. But as it turns out, there’s another professional athlete who has been protesting the anthem for years now without drawing any attention for doing it.
Warriors forward David West spoke with The Undefeated over the weekend and revealed that he has been silently protesting "The Star Spangled Banner" for most of his NBA career. Ever since he was a member of the New Orleans Hornets, he has planted himself at the end of the line that NBA players form during the anthem and stood approximately two feet behind his teammates. He told The Undefeated he’s done it to protest the issues that he sees in the world.
"I can’t start talking about civic issues," he said. "I can’t start talking about civility and being a citizen if motherfuckers don’t even think I’m a human being. How can you talk about progress and how humans interrelate with one another when you don’t even recognize our humanity? We got to somehow get that straight first so we’re on the same playing field. And that’s just how I feel. There is just a lot of stuff."
West went on to say that none of his Warriors teammates noticed him step back prior to the national anthem before a preseason game against the Raptors on Saturday night. But he said that, when he played in New Orleans, Chris Paul used to try and get him to stand with the team rather than standing back during the anthem. It didn’t work and West has continued to do it throughout his career, which has taken him to Indiana, San Antonio, and now Golden State.
West emphasized that he does more than just protest the anthem, too. "My work speaks for itself," he said. "I’m a part of grassroots organizations. I’m about getting outside of this celebrity. Letting people get a real perspective. It’s not just about the corrupt police inside what is supposed to be a serve and protect system. That’s only a small piece of it."
You can—and should—check out what else West had to say here.