Written by By Chelsea Habana, CNN
What would happened had this NBA player refused to stand for the national anthem?
That’s the question more Americans would like answered.
NBA player Ben Wallace has spoken out in favor of keeping a player on the court for the playing of the Star-Spangled Banner.
“I would have had to stand,” the free agent said in a taped interview with FOX Sports. “I love my country and I’m very patriotic. But my first love is my family, as well. We try to respect that. My father didn’t have the opportunity to be able to play, so I was playing for him and my brothers, all the guys I grew up with. I had to make that sacrifice.”
“I would never take the knee,” added Wallace, a two-time All-Star who played 16 years in the NBA. “It was a protest, not just the protesting, but all the backlash that came from it. For a young black man, that’s real.”
Wallace’s views on the kneel-down issue echo those of retired NFL player Craig James, who said he thinks “it would be a wonderful idea” if there were no athletes who kneel.