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Since his retirement, Kobe Bryant has stayed out of the spotlight with few exceptions coming with him roasting Jalen Rose on ESPN and his “Dear Basketball” animated short piece.
Earlier this week, however, the former Laker superstar took part in the Hollywood Reporter Awards Chatter podcast where he commented on the recent protests going on across the NFL and NBA.
Bryant was asked by host Scott Feinberg whether he would kneel or stand if he were still in the league, to which he offered the following response.
Scott Feinberg: If you were still in the league and had a game tonight and it came time for the National Anthem to be played, what would you do?
Kobe Bryant: Kneel
Feinberg: If you could speak directly to president Donal Trump right now, what would you say to him?
Bryant: Focus on serving, not leading
Bryant has long been out-spoken on social matters, including in recent times taking part in a PSA for the Southern Poverty Law Center where he spoke on fighting for equality.
His comments also come on the back of those made last week during Media Day by general manager Rob Pelinka and head coach Luke Walton as both openly supported the First Amendment. The Lakers opened their first preseason game by locking arms with one another during the National Anthem.
Bryant joins a long list of present and past NBA players who have spoken out about the current president, ranging from Steph Curry and the Golden State Warriors to, most notably, LeBron James.