As many expected in the wake of President Trump’s comments on sports and politics this weekend in regards to the NFL, Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka had his own response to Trump’s remarks at the open of Lakers’ Media Day on Monday afternoon.
“I think all of us have to think long and hard about these issues. And what we stand for here is we stand for the absolute protection of the First Amendment rights that the constitution gives all of us as individuals, as citizens of this great democracy. We want to create a forum here where our players can express their views and respectfully be listened to and heard and that’s a culture we want to develop here. In terms of how our players will address the issues at hand, that’s going to really be a player decision. I’m sure Luke and his staff is going to get with our 15, 20 camp guys and address those issues in the locker room.”
The approach that it seems the Lakers are taking on social issues is not surprising, as NBA teams have been vocal against social issues in the past, the Lakers included, but it’s great to hear that they are going to have a discussion as a team.
Pelinka’s comments come just one day removed from hundreds of NFL players’ protests during the National Anthem, a collective move that created a stir around the country and brought more attention to the issues at hand.
Other members of the Lakers have since added their own words to Pelinka’s initial statements about the player protests. Head coach Luke Walton came out strongly in favor of players excersizing their first amendment rights and said that the team will meet to discuss the best course of action:
New free agent signing Kentavious Caldwell-Pope also added his thoughts: