Kobe Bryant on Kaepernick's protest: 'I would have participated'

Retired NBA star Kobe Bryant during an interview with outspoken ESPN anchor Jemele Hill weighed in on the Colin Kaepernick protest debate by saying that if he were still playing today he would have joined in on it despite the potential backlash.

>> Read more trending news

Bryant said that Kaepernick’s message was a “very simple one” and that people are as entitled to protest peacefully as they are to be upset about those protests.

“Yeah, I would have participated in it, for sure. I’m sure I would have gotten some flak for it. That’s fine,” he told Hill. “I think that Colin’s message was a very simple one. It was police brutality needs to stop. We need to take a look at that.”

“I think we understand this is a free country. I think we have the right to peaceful protest,” he continued. “That’s what the flag represents as well. The ability to speak, the ability to voice your opinion.”

“Everybody getting up in arms about it, they’re certainly in their right to do that as we’re certainly in our right to protest,” he concluded.

Bryant’s comments come on the heels of a Philadelphia Eagles player effusively praising Kaepernick as a “legend,” while he and other Super Bowl championship teammates declined White House appearances.

Bryant’s interviewer, Jemele Hill, also made waves recently by saying President Donald Trump was pushing “racial pornography” by urging people to stand for the national anthem.

Hill, who was suspended for two weeks months ago for calling President Donald Trump a “white supremacist” on her personal Twitter account, made the recent comments on Rev. Al Sharpton’s show “Politics Nation.”

Sharpton asked how Hill felt about Trump “[taking] a shot at people that are standing up about injustices?”

Hill replied that she wasn’t surprised because Trump is a “racial pornograph[er].”

“I wasn’t surprised, and I think this is going to be — a probably, a constant thing for the president, because it’s a very easy dog whistle, it’s low hanging fruit, it’s what I like to call ‘racial pornography,’ because it’s a way to stoke his base,” she said.

The Sporting News reached out to ESPN for comment about Hill’s MSNBC appearance and ESPN spokesman Mike Soltys replied that “the anthem is a sports issue.”

>> RELATED: Cardi B says she won’t perform at a Super Bowl until Kaepernick plays

Previously, as we mentioned, Hill was suspended for tweeting that “Donald Trump is a white supremacist who has surrounded himself with other white supremacists,” and that Trump is “bigot” and “the most ignorant, offensive president of [her] lifetime.”

ESPN released a statement in October saying that Hill was suspended for violating the company’s “social media guidelines.”

Hill followed that with an apology for “paint[ing] ESPN in an unfair light.”

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Nation World

Clark County Municipal Court cases
Clark County Municipal Court cases

CASES CALLED TUESDAY INCLUDED: Zackerey Q. Howald, 29, of 2802 Hemlock Dr., OVI amended to physical control, guilty, 60 days jail with 60 days suspended, 12 months probation, administrative license suspension remains, fined $525. Danyale A. Blair, 26, of New Carlisle, possession of drug abuse instrument, guilty, 30 days jail, credit for time served...
Hyperloop in Ohio? Two firms to study feasibility
Hyperloop in Ohio? Two firms to study feasibility

Two companies will begin studying the feasibility and environmental impact of a potential hyperloop connecting Columbus, Chicago and Pittsburgh. Hyperloop One is a worldwide challenge to create a transportation system that moves both people and products quickly. The hyperloop is expected to transport pods of people and goods through a tube —...
Trump: US-Mexico border 'a big mess'
Trump: US-Mexico border 'a big mess'

President Donald Trump called the U.S.-Mexico border “a big mess” on Thursday morning as the House prepared to vote on a pair of immigration bills. “The Border has been a big mess and problem for many years,” Trump wrote. “At some point (Senate Minority Leader Chuck) Schumer and (House Minority Leader Nancy) Pelosi, who...
50 best restaurants in the world: Where are they, how many in the US?
50 best restaurants in the world: Where are they, how many in the US?

If you want a seat at the world’s best restaurant, you had better make reservations.  It has only 12 tables.Osteria Francescana, a restaurant in Modena, Italy, took the top ranking as the world's best restaurant for the second time in three years in a survey from The World’s 50 Best. The ranking includes restaurants in 23 countries...
Clark County Common Pleas Court cases
Clark County Common Pleas Court cases

COMMON PLEAS COURT CURRENT BUSINESS State of Ohio v. Saraha McNeil, termination of probation, case closed. State of Ohio v. Robert Childers, termination of community control, case dismissed. State of Ohio v. Robert Sparks, termination of community control, case dismissed. State of Ohio v. Jacquiline Strole, termination of community control, case dismissed...
More Stories