Unfortunately, it appears that players’ disrespect during the national anthem is becoming the norm. As early as 2016, NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick began kneeling during the national anthem, which outraged patriotic Americans. Now LeBron James, a star with the Los Angeles Lakers, has joined the trend.
The first game that Bronny James, the eldest son of LeBron James, played in with the USC Trojans was on December 10. The college team began training with the 19-year-old this summer, but he had a heart collapse while playing in July. He returned to training despite learning he had a congenital heart condition; he made his team debut against the Long Beach State 49ers, scoring four points. His father’s behavior before the match, which many are describing as insulting, unfortunately overshadowed his performance.
During Sunday’s pregame national anthem, LeBron was spotted making his way into the Galen Center and settling into his courtside seat. He sat down instead of standing, which would have been the proper thing to do until the anthem was over. Fans aren’t happy about his behavior.
An irate supporter wrote, “This country gave him EVERYTHING” and referred to LeBron’s actions as “complete DISRESPECT” on X (previously Twitter). Someone else made the mocking comment about if “King James” couldn’t even respect the country’s emblems. Others claimed they didn’t expect anything better from him or referred to him as a shame.
James has been known to support left-wing issues for a long time and is known to be politically active. Previous controversies involving him include his apparent support for China’s communist government in relation to pro-democracy demonstrations in Hong Kong in 2019. But he hasn’t openly disdained the United States previously, even if he backed Kaepernick’s knee-taking actions. He risks losing many of his devoted followers if that’s about to change.