Golden State Warriors: Will we see protesting extend to the NBA?

OAKLAND, CA - SEPTEMBER 22: Stephen Curry
OAKLAND, CA - SEPTEMBER 22: Stephen Curry /

With the recent rising tensions in the sports world, the NBA season will likely begin with protest. Will we see the Golden State Warriors lead the way?

The 2017/18 NBA season is just around the corner, which makes for an exciting time. With the drama of yet another crazy offseason out of the way, the preseason is usually a relaxed, enjoyable time.

The recent controversies surrounding the conflict between major sports figures and President Donald Trump have unfortunately neutralised this excitement.  It certainly doesn’t look like there’ll be an end to this tension any time soon. It’s not exactly an issue that can be fixed within a few weeks. If this is the case, there is a very real chance these protests will extend to the NBA.

Why anthem protests may extend to the NBA

The past week has seen tensions explode between the sports and political sectors, with Warriors superstar Stephen Curry, and President Trump at the forefront. It’s unfortunate that it’s come to the point where sports and politics have clashed, however these underlying tensions must be addressed.

Along with President Trump’s comments about NFL players who kneel for the anthem, Curry’s comments have also once again brought these tensions to the forefront. Curry’s comments have caused many NBA players to rally around him in support. Everyone from LeBron James, to Spurs coach Gregg Popovich has gotten involved.

With such influential NBA figures leading the way, and with a resolution unlikely in the near future, these protests may very well extend to the NBA. As we’ve seen in the NFL and MLB, protests have ranged from anthem-kneeling to remaining in the locker room.

After having their traditional Championship White House invitation rescinded, the Warriors will likely protest. As one of the NBA’s leading teams, others are likely to follow. Unless any constructive dialogue is established with the President in the coming weeks, the NBA community will unite in protest.

What will come of the potential protests?

Unfortunately, likely nothing. It’s been over a year since former San Francisco 49ers Quarterback Colin Kaepernick began kneeling during the anthem.

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The action began in response to perceived police brutality, and has endured for much longer than expected. Kneeling for the anthem was effective when Kaepernick first did it. It became a huge news story globally, and raised awareness as to these perceived issues.

But, what’s changed? Kaepernick is out of the job, and that’s about it. Now, you may be in the camp that believes he’s been blackballed due to his opinions, and some say he wasn’t a good enough player. Nothing else has changed, though. If it had, these protests wouldn’t be such a hot topic today.

If anything is to come of these protests, it has to be dialogue, and it has to be action. Protesting has been great in raising awareness, but it’s time something gets done. Seattle Seahawks star Michael Bennett has now made his intention clear that he wants to take action. In an interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper, Bennett said: “I would love to sit down with the President and talk about these issues and be able to find a way to fix them”. This is the necessary next step in this process. Hopefully, other sports figures will follow this lead, and the President will be keen to sort these issues out.

The Warriors’ role going forward

The Warriors are now under the spotlight in the NBA, but for a different reason to usual. As the NBA’s leading franchise, other teams will look to them for guidance while these issues remain prevalent.

The season will very likely begin with protest. At least, Warriors superstar Draymond Green hopes this is the case. In an interview after practice on Monday, Green was asked if he believes the current wave of protests will fizzle out soon.“ I hope not,” Green said.“

If it goes away, then we still have a problem. So I hope it’s not going away in a few weeks. Then we’ve missed the message again. So, no, I don’t think it’ll be gone away in a few weeks. And I pray that it’s not, because it’s not a problem that can be fixed in a few weeks. So, no, it shouldn’t be gone in a few weeks.” It is clear through the comments of Green, Curry, and others, that these issues of inequality mean so much. And it cannot be questioned for a second that they do. So, it would be welcome to see a resolution to these issues.

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The President once again inviting the Dubs to the White House would be a positive move. The team could lead the way for the sports world by also working with the President.

While various members of the team have made their intentions clear that they don’t want to visit, it’s necessary in such tumultuous times. Previous differences must be put aside to work towards a positive solution. The Warriors have been so strong in leading the way and making a stand. The next step will hopefully be to lead through action.

Do you think the recent wave of protests will extend to the NBA this season? Comment below!