Carmelo Anthony, New York Knicks Mull Anthem Demonstration 1
Sep 26, 2016; White Plains, NY, USA; New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony addresses the media during the New York Knicks Media Day at Ritz-Carlton. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports

Carmelo Anthony ‘understands’ Joakim Noah‘s reason for skipping cadet dinner, says New York Knicks anthem stance will be show of unity.

Carmelo Anthony had a busy summer. It didn’t include an NBA Finals appearance, to the chagrin of New Yorks Knicks fans (and expectation of everyone else) but the All-star forward did assert himself for his country in more ways than one.

Anthony and Team USA basketball won gold in the Rio Olympics, making him the only 3-time gold medalist in men’s basketball history. He also used his influence to shine a light on police brutality against African-Americans in America.

He discussed teammate Joakim Noah’s refusal to attend a dinner with US Army cadets at West Point, with Marc Berman on Saturday, and alluded to a possible New York Knicks National Anthem Protest.

“I don’t think what [Noah] said or the stance that he took has anything to do with the actual environment or any particular person, the cadets or anything like that…I think it’s a much bigger message that he stands for, it’s much bigger belief that he stands for.

– Carmelo Anthony

Carmelo took the same stance on San Francisco 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick’s kneeling during the National Anthem. When asked if the Knicks had anything planned, Melo says he’s unlikely to kneel but his team would figure out a way to make a statement.

“Whatever I’m going to do, I think we’re all going to do it as a unit, as a team,” he told reporters at Knicks Media Day.

Kaepernick has started a movement NFL players have since followed, and a dialogue across the country. The NBA, arguably the most progressive league in pro sports, will likely advance the conversation as the 2016-2017 season approaches.

h/t: ESPN