Colin Kaepernick has sent a handwritten letter to LeBron James thanking him for speaking out against racial injustice following the NBA walk offs earlier this week.
James has been vocal supporter of NBA teams deciding to boycott their games to protest the police shooting of unarmed black man Jacob Blake. The Los Angeles Lakers star was even said to be in favor of cancelling the rest of the 2019 – 2020 season.
On Saturday, the Los Angeles Lakers star shared a photo of a letter he received from Kaepernick – another African American athlete who has been outspoken on issues of race.
Kaepernick’s letter read: ‘Four years ago on August 14, 2016, I began protesting against systemic racism and social injustice.
‘Truth is what I sought. Solidarity is what you showed me. Love is what moves us forward. Thank you for staying true.’
James captioned his photo of the letter: ‘Standing/kneeling right next to you brother! Appreciate you.’
ack in 2016, Kaepernick was playing NFL for the San Francisco 49ers and divided the country when he began kneeling for the National Anthem as a means of protesting systemic racism.
His actions attracted the ire of Donald Trump, who had not yet been elected President.
‘Maybe he should find a country that works better for him,’ he wrote on Twitter.
The following year Kaepernick was not re-signed to the 49ers, and he is now a free agent.
Meanwhile, the NBA boycott began when the Milwaukee Bucks refused to take the court for Game Five of their first-round playoff series against the Orlando Magic on Wednesday.
Bucks players said they were unable to focus on basketball due to demonstrations and violence in Kenosha, 40 miles south of Milwaukee, where police had shot Blake.
After the Bucks’ boycott, the NBA postponed all three games on that day’s schedule as well as three on Thursday.
In a crisis meeting on Thursday night, LeBron James allegedly advocated to end the entire season as a way to protest racial injustice.
However, it’s been reported that former President Barack Obama reportedly played a role in convincing James to resume the postseason after they boycotted it in protest of racial injustice.
Obama spoke with James, National Basketball Players Association president Chris Paul, and other players in a conference call late on Wednesday night, after all NBA games were cancelled due to the boycott, the Athletic reported, citing sources.
Obama reportedly told James and the other players that they could use the remaining games to advocate for the changes they want to see if they resumed playing.
In public remarks, Obama praised the Milwaukee Bucks for leading the boycott by walking off the court on Wednesday, saying in a tweet: ‘It’s going to take all our institutions to stand up for our values.’
The players agreed to resume the playoffs on Saturday in a deal that includes increased access to voting in the U.S. presidential election, the league and players association said on Friday.
As part of the agreement, the NBA and its players will establish a coalition that will focus on access to voting for the November 3 general election, promoting civic engagement, and advocating for meaningful police and criminal justice reform.
‘These commitments follow months of close collaboration around designing a safe and healthy environment to restart the NBA season, providing a platform to promote social justice, as well as creating an NBA Foundation focused on economic empowerment in the Black community,’ NBA Commissioner Adam Silver and NBPA Executive Director Michele Roberts said in a joint statement.