San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick drew tons of support and hate for his series of national anthem protests. As the 2016-17 NBA season draws nearer, Los Angeles Lakers guard-forward Nick Young is among the rumored basketball players who are planning to emulate the NFL player's controversial move.
National Anthem Protests in the NBA
Rumors about Young joining the national anthem protests started to circulate after he was caught on video by TMZ expressing his approval on Kaepernick's bold move. He commented that the protest is great and he intends to do the same. Moreover, he added that instead of kneeling, he might just sit because his knees hurt.
According to Trevor Lane of Lakers Nation, Young's mention of his knees hurting makes his statement questionable. He explained that it is possible that the 31-year-old guard is not sincere with his comments especially that he is known for his off-the-wall antics.
Lane also added that if Young is serious with his comments, he might not get chance to execute the national anthem protest. The NBA star's fate with the Lakers remains uncertain and it is possible that he would have no bench to sit on when the Star Spangled Banner plays next season.
Young's Fate in the 2016-17 NBA Season
Although Young's future with the Lakers remains unclear, according to Mike Bresnahan of Time Warner Cable Sportsnet, the controversial player will participate in the upcoming Lakers' training camp. The NBA star still has a remaining $11 million on the four-year $21.5-million contract he signed with the Lakers in 2014. However, the franchise could waive Young by using the stretch provision.
Aside from uncertainties, Harrison Faigen of SB Nation commented that Young will face an uphill battle if he stays with the Lakers. He said that Young would struggle to find a role in a crowded camp composed of at least 16 players with guaranteed contract. He added that with the recent acquisition of Metta World Peace and Thomas Robinson, Young will most likely fail to get a role even if he stays healthy throughout the season.
Young, who is widely known for his alter-ego Swaggy P, is already one of the controversial characters in the league. He has been the controversy magnet in the past months - from his complicated relationship with rapper Iggy Azalea to his recent budding romance with singer Paloma Ford.
Young also became the talk of the NBA last season after a video recorded by his teammate, D'Angelo Russell, leaked online. The clip, which featured Young boasting about his monogamous acts, caused the end of his engagement to Azalea.