NBA champion LeBron James was once an avid Dallas Cowboys fan. But the 37-year-old recently revealed that he quit supporting the NFL team because of the way their management handled the national anthem protests.
According to TMZ, the Los Angeles Lakers superstar touched on the topic during an Instagram Live discussion with Maverick Carter last Thursday. James told his business partner that he made the decision to stop supporting the NFL team after he took issue with an ultimatum its management reportedly gave to players who intended to take the knee to protest against racial injustice.
As previously reported by Face2Face Africa, the NFL was accused of blackballing Colin Kaepernick after the former San Francisco 49ers made national headlines for taking the knee during the national anthem. The athlete and civil rights activist had explained he was taking the knee to protest against racial injustice in the United States. Kaepernick’s actions also spurred other athletes to protest in a similar fashion. But the Dallas Cowboys was reportedly having none of that.
“I had to sit down on the Cowboys man,” James told Carter. “It’s just things that were going on when guys were kneeling and guys were having the freedom of speech and wanted to do it in a very peaceful manner.”
“A lot of people in they front office and a lot of people that ran the organization was like, ‘If you do that around here, then you will never play for this franchise again,'” he added. “I just didn’t think that was appropriate.”
Prior to the commencement of a Monday Night Football game in 2017, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones joined players on his team to take the knee in solidarity. But they all rose up when the national anthem was played.
Kaepernick’s decision to take the knee during the national anthem was largely condemned by conservatives. Trump, who was president at the time, called on teams to terminate anyone who knelt during the national anthem.
And though James said he has nothing against Cowboys players like CeeDee Lamb, Micah Parsons, and Ezekiel Elliott, he emphatically stated that he now supports the Cleveland Browns.