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#pounditMonday, October 3, 2022

Cuban, Van Gundy believe Kaepernick’s activism would be embraced in NBA

Colin Kaepernick is still without a job in the NFL. Despite the league’s widespread need for serviceable quarterbacks, not one team has taken a flyer on the 29-year-old former 49er.

At this point, it’d be hard to argue that his unemployment is completely unrelated to his protests of the National Anthem earlier this year. Even Doug Baldwin now believes that’s why Kaepernick is unsigned. But would Kaepernick be treated differently if he played in another league?

The NBA is known as a progressive sport entity. How would things be going right now if Kaepernick were a basketball player and he had taken his knee before an NBA game?

The Washington Post sought to answer that question and asked a couple of the more outspoken NBA figures.

“I don’t know what his status is in the NFL, but I’m glad the NBA doesn’t have a politician litmus test for our players,” Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban told the Post. “I’d like to think we encourage our players to exercise their constitutional rights. The NBA is such a global game, I think our players exposure to different political systems among their teammates may help them appreciate our country even more and encourage their participation.”

ESPN analyst Jeff Van Gundy praised league commissioner Adam Silver.

“Commissioner Silver embraces all kinds of different ways of thinking,” Van Gundy said. “I think he encourages activism. And because of that, I believe, some of our players in the NBA feel very empowered to speak their mind. That’s healthy that we embrace different thoughts. You can agree with Kaepernick, you can disagree with Kaepernick, but what I don’t think you should believe is that he doesn’t have the right or he should be muzzled in any way.”

Regardless of Kaepernick’s age, statistical record, and availability (at what’s probably a reasonable price), teams continue to look elsewhere for help – like at Jay Cutler.


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