THREE DOTS… Anthem Protests at Suns Games? Slow down on ASU

How are we going to handle national anthem protests at NBA games?

When Lebron, Carmelo, Chris Paul, and Dwayne Wade stood on stage at the ESPYs in July, they spoke about police force and gun violence. Anthony had this quote in the wake of the shooting death of two men.“The events of the past week have put a spotlight on the injustice, destruction and anger that plague so many of us,” Anthony said. “We cannot ignore the realities of the current state of America.”

“The system is broken,” Anthony added “The problems are not new. The violence is not new. And the racial divide definitely is not new. But the urgency to create change is at an all-time high.”

Since that speech, Colin Kaepernick has come onto the scene. This past week the backup quarterback of the San Francisco 49ers was on the cover of Time magazine. Agree or disagree with his stance(or kneel, in this case) Kaepernick has taken what the NBA players started over the summer and turned up the discussion.

The NBA opens training camp Monday morning.  I am sure the Suns players will be asked about this subject while meeting with the media as part of their first day duties. Already around the League players have indicated they will protest. Iman Shumpert of the Cavaliers indicated he will kneel. Steph Curry said he will “most likely” stand. It will be interesting to see what the Suns players decide to do. Eric Bledsoe is very close with Lebron James and has been using this offseason to build himself as the leader of this team. 19-year old Devin Booker appears to be a star-in-the-making. Does he put himself out there when it comes to social issues off the basketball court? Should we expect him to do this? I don’t, but it’s obviously his call.

The NBA is trying to be proactive on the matter. The League held a meeting with the players union this past week to talk about anthem protests. The number of NBA games and the proximity of the players to the fans in arenas are two factors to look at. 41 nights in every NBA city the anthem is going to be played. Protests by players will fade into the background once the season starts, assuming they just kneel. But will the players try to amp up the dialogue by showing other forms of protest that we haven’t yet considered?  One of the great parts for fans going to an NBA game is how close they get to the players. It could get ugly when a player kneels and fans sitting a row behind the teams bench don’t approve.

What happens if fans decide they want to join in on anthem protests? What type of exchanges could we see in the stands between two people who have completely different view-points. I asked you off the top about how are “we” going to handle anthem protests. I would hope that peace would prevail. After all, sports is supposed to be an escape from the pressures of life…

Leftovers…

Nice second half showing by Todd Grahams team Saturday night. But, just another box to check off. 4-0 is fine. Beating a struggling(I am being nice) USC team next weekend should be expected out of the Sun Devils. Still too early to tell much about this group…

Rich Rod and his staff coached their tails off against Washington in Tucson. Watched the game back this morning on DVR and the Wildcats are down to their third string running back and backup QB because of injuries. I don’t see how Brandon Dawkins doesn’t continue at quarterback for the time-being…

Tough stuff for Jerome Sowers and Northern Arizona. Case Cookus, the Lumberjacks terrific quarterback, suffered an injured shoulder in the ‘Jacks loss to Eastern Washington…

Mark Helfrich may want to find a good real estate agent. Oregon fans are a little out of control over their programs loss to Colorado…

How many more years are we going to hear “David Shaw is an outstanding coach, one day he will be in the NFL”…

Shouldn’t today be a speed bump for the Cardinals at Buffalo? Rex Ryan sounds like a coach who knows he has a warm seat waiting for him at one of the Networks as an analyst the moment he gets canned by the Bills…

24-10 hometown heroes…