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How athletes protesting the national anthem has evolved over 17 years JAMES PAYS TRIBUTE TO KAEPERNICKAs LeBron James walked into Staples Center, he donned a long-sleeved shirt reading “Kaepernick” on the back.It was the latest show of support for Colin Kaepernick, the former NFL quarterback who has struggled to get a job in the league since he sparked a movement of athletes to kneel during the national anthem at games. The gesture was meant to protest police violence against African American men – a cause to which James is sympathetic. James drew attention to the case of Trayvon Martin when he was with the Miami Heat, the first of many political stances he’s expressed since.James also has corporate ties to Kaepernick through Nike’s “Just Do It” campaign this year, of which Kaepernick is the figurehead. When asked how he felt about the campaign last month, James said, “I stand with Nike, all day every day.”Related Articles Collins also said he’s seen Lakers forward Michael Beasley at New York’s Pride parade, along with numerous other NBA players and Commissioner Adam Silver. That support, he said, is just as important as players coming out.“I definitely had a huge difference when I was out and open and being accepted by my teammates,” he said. “It was great having the support of my teammates. Like I said, it’s a brotherhood. So, I encourage everyone to walk that path.” Lakers, Clippers schedules set for first round of NBA playoffs Lakers practice early hoping to answer all questions Trail Blazers beat Grizzlies in play-in, earn first-round series with the Lakers Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error Trail Blazers, Grizzlies advance to NBA play-in game; Suns, Spurs see playoff dreams dashed AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREUCLA alum Kenny Clark signs four-year contract extension with PackersCollins is at the heart of that work in the NBA, serving as a league ambassador to try to create an environment that will one day accept another openly gay player. For that work, Collins was honored Thursday night at Staples Center during the Lakers’ first-ever Pride Night, receiving the Laces of Unity award from the organization.From a T-shirt giveaway, to rainbow-colored ties worn by the Lakers coaches to the rainbow-dyed locks of owner Jeanie Buss, Collins said he felt the support for the LGBT community in L.A., where he still lives today.Collins’ work means he talks with many NBA players about acceptance of the LGBT community, including potentially any teammates who remain closeted. He said he works on explaining the harmfulness of homophobic slurs and culture, particularly to younger players entering the league.“It’s about being – it’s multiple reasons – but it’s about being professional, but then it’s also about being a human being and accepting your brother for who they are,” he said. “And I think that’s one of the great things about our sport, just how inclusive it is and at the end of the day is, can you play? Are you a good teammate and do you have each other’s back, and can you play?”The NBA has employed openly gay referees and carries strict fines for players who use homophobic language in games. Lakers guard Rajon Rondo was once fined $50,000 for using a slur toward referee Billy Kennedy in 2015 before later apologizing – he was among the Lakers to greet and embrace Collins in the tunnel outside the locker room Thursday night. LOS ANGELES — The last time Jason Collins came to Staples Center before Thursday night, he remembers feeling nervous and excited. Simply by stepping on the court, he was preparing to make history.It was Feb. 23, 2014 when Collins became the first openly gay player to check into an NBA game, playing for the Brooklyn Nets in his hometown of Los Angeles. It was an event saturated with media coverage, and Collins had to remind himself it was a normal day at work beforehand.Four-and-a-half years later, Collins’ dream is for more athletes to come out: In the top five sports leagues, only the MLS has one openly gay athlete, though Collins says he knows of more who remain closeted. And he hopes that it’s not the same kind of ground-shaking event that he went through becoming the first.“When we’re at that day with male athletes who choose to step forward and share their true self with the world, it’s like, ‘Great, now go win a championship,’” he said. “And so we have some work to do.”
Liverpool were fined 20,000 euros ($22,000) by UEFA for that incident and publicly apologised to City.But the rivalry on the field between the two sides has grown even more intense over the past 18 months after City pipped Liverpool to the Premier League title by a single point last season.“I’m a big believer of fan power — in the stadium. That’s completely different,” said Klopp on the previous attack on City’s bus.“That was a senseless thing. If somebody at Man City is concerned still, then it’s our fault.“Not that we did it all together, we all didn’t throw the bottle or whatever it was, but it was one of us. That’s why we are responsible.“All of us have to make sure that something like this will never happen again.”City boss Pep Guardiola repeated his criticism of the police for the lack of protection his side were given that night, but hopes it is the spectacle on the field that makes worldwide news come Sunday.“Hopefully it does not happen again,” said Guardiola. “The police knew it in the Champions League game before and didn’t do anything.“Hopefully it will be an incredible game at Anfield for the Premier League, for all (the people) around the world and hopefully the same thing is not going to happen as what happened two seasons ago.”On the field it is Liverpool who have the upper hand in the title race this time around as Klopp’s men enjoy a six-point lead at the top of the table after a brilliant start of 10 wins and one draw in their opening 11 games.Guardiola hailed the Reds as the “strongest team in the world” right now, but Klopp is also full of respect for the Catalan and pointed to slipping standards at Barcelona and Bayern Munich since Guardiola left as evidence of his impact.“For me he is the best manager in the world,” added Klopp. “Wherever he was he had a proper impact on his team. You can see when he is not there anymore the football looks differently, so that is something big.”0Shares0000(Visited 12 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has warned supporters to behave despite the heightened tension around Manchester City’s visit on Sunday © AFP/File / Oli SCARFFLIVERPOOL, United Kingdom, Nov 8 – Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp called for a cauldron of an atmosphere when the European champions host Manchester City on Sunday, but warned fans against overstepping the line.City’s team bus was damaged by thrown bottles ahead of their Champions League quarter-final, first leg at Anfield in April 2018.