First of all, I have been a proud American citizen in my lifetime since birth. Read my previous articles regarding the American values and patriotism:
* UN-American Values in Pro Sports (23 Sept 2017)
* Bill of Rights: 1st Amendment (27 Sept 2017)
* Respect to USA National Anthem (6 Oct 2017)
Let me tell you a little about myself. I have been a longtime fan of the basketball sports, especially National Basketball Association (NBA). I have been rooting for the Los Angeles Lakers since I grew up with a strict Christian family in Southern California. While the Lakers were the lowly team in some seasons, I had rooted for the Orlando Magic based on my love of everything about Disney. I had been rooting for the Oklahoma City Thunder when my former favorite NBA superstars Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook were playing on the team from 2008–09 thru 2015–16. I like the Miami Heat too because I am very fond of the South Beach, warm weather, and their unique “hot neon” colors.
The 2019–20 NBA season was suspended in March 2020 due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The NBA season has restarted with only 22 of the 30 teams in Orlando, Florida and tipped off on Thursday, July 30th. Based on a competitive format approved by the NBA Board of Governors and the NBPA, those 22 teams returned to play during the 2019–20 season. The 22 teams consist of the 16 teams (eight per conference) in playoff positions and the six teams that were six games or fewer behind the eighth seed in their respective conferences when the season was suspended.
On the first night of the 2019–20 NBA restart season, July 30, 2020 became my darkest night ever in my entire life! When I saw the National Anthem performance prior to the tipoff of the first game between the New Orleans Pelicans and Utah Jazz and the tipoff of the second game between two Los Angeles teams (Lakers and Clippers), I was speechlessly appalled and heartbroken in shock and disgust to see all players along with team personnel kneeling in support of the Black Lives Matter (BLM). They wore the BLM T-shorts in protest against the racial injustice and police brutality. They believe that the blacks have been oppressed by the whites for years.
Let me speak out as a proud American citizen, US Air Force civilian employee and longtime Christian believer. Please RESPECT my entitled opinion under the First Amendment of the US Constitution. I strongly believe that kneeling during the National Anthem performance is extremely disgraceful and disrespectful to all men and women in the armed forces serving our country. As the federal civilian employee in the Department of Defense, I have proudly been serving our country and enjoying to work with both military and civilian personnel and contractors for over 30 years! I always have respect for all military members and veterans because they have had been serving OUR COUNTRY to protect our legal citizens! My late father and one of my first cousins are the Army veterans as well. Numerous of my friends, acquaintances and former colleagues and superiors are the military veterans. As you see, I am extremely very disappointed in all NBA players, coaches and team personnel kneeling during the National Anthem performance.
To clarify any confusion, I support the BLM movement, of course. I strongly condemn the racial injustice and police brutality against the blacks. However, BLM should not be included in part of the American national anthem, which belongs to the citizens and servants of ALL races and genders. As a true American citizen and longtime Christian, I strongly oppose kneeling and raising the fist during the National Anthem performance because they obviously represent as Anti-Americans in disrespect for the military, police and firefighting members and veterans.
In truth, I am still very embarrassed by NBA Commissioner Adam Silver’s lacks of enforcing the national anthem policy for all players and team personnel. In the NBA Commissioner’s shoes, I would ENFORCE the national anthem policy for all players, coaches, trainers and team personnel to comply with during the National Anthem performance prior to the tipoff of every game but I would offer them with only two choices based on their personal beliefs:
1. Stand on the court with touching your hand on your chest, hands down, arms at the back or front, or locked with arms. Raising your fist in the air is strictly BANNED during the period.
2. If you choose to kneel in support BLM, you must stay in the locker room or in a similar location OFF the court until the national anthem performance is completely finished. Video or photography of anyone kneeling off the court during the National Anthem performance is BANNED. NO kneeling on the court is allowed, period! NO EXCEPTIONS!
It is very simple and easy to make the decision! Regardless of the social awareness, those disgraceful players, coaches and other team personnel must STOP protesting against the American patriotism and its flag! It is clear if they are not happy in the United States, they should move to another country. Isn’t it simple, huh? As a longtime basketball and NBA fan, that is why I feel very embarrassed in extreme disgust to see almost all players, coaches and team personnel kneeling during the National Anthem performance. What a DISGRACE! I feel like I am done with the NBA!
In the first three days of the 2019–20 NBA Restart Season, I have proudly applauded only four individuals from the three teams for standing for our country’s National Anthem: two players from the different teams and two coaches from the San Antonio Spurs.
- Jonathan Isaac, a forward of the Orlando Magic, became the first NBA player or coach ever to stand during the national anthem. Also, unlike almost all players including his teammates, he was the lone player who did not wear the BLM T-shirt, citing his Christian religion as an ordained minister. Unfortunately, I feel so bad for him that he ended up with a serious knee injury in the next game. He is in my prayer for his speedy recovery and return to play within a few months.
- Meyers Leonard, a center of the Miami Heat, chose to stand for the national anthem, citing his brother and friends serving in the military. He also stood with his hand over his heart as “The Star-Spangled Banner” played prior to the tipoff. Of course, he supports the BLM movement in the same way as I do.
- San Antonio Spurs head coach Greg Popovich and assistant coach Becky Hammon were the only two coaches standing for the national anthem. Notably, Popovich is a graduate of the United States Air Force Academy.
Only FOUR out of over 500 players, coaches and team personnel are the true Americans as long as they keep standing for the National Anthem. How SAD!
Since the first day of the 2019–20 NBA Restart season, I have been distancing myself from watching the NBA games on TV. I cannot stand seeing the most embarrassment and disgust of the NBA players, coaches and team personnel’s disgraces during The Star-Spangled Banner national anthem performance! ENOUGH is ENOUGH!
SHAME on all NBA players, coaches and team personnel for kneeling during the USA National Anthem! GROSS!!!!! What a DISGRACE!!!!!