Protests, Drew Brees, police violence—much has been going on around the country in the past few days. Lakers forward Kyle Kuzma has thoughts, particularly on Brees and the notion of kneeling at the start of NFL games as a form of protest, which began with former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick.
Oddly, one thing that Kuzma seemed less concerned about was the plan for the impending return of the NBA season, expected to pass by a vote of the Board of Governors on Thursday. Kuzma is the sixth man on a Lakers team favored to win a championship, third on the team in scoring at 12.5 points per game, but with all that is going on in America in recent weeks, he can’t be blamed for seeing that as relatively unimportant.
On Wednesday evening, after Brees, the Saints quarterback, told CNBC, “I will never agree with anybody disrespecting the flag of the United States of America or our country,” when asked about NFL players kneeling during the national anthem, many athletes publicly rebuked him, including LeBron James.
Kuzma tweeted out a photo of Brees kneeling with teammates.
Kuzma called out the hypocrisy of the image, writing on Twitter: “This shows you that there are a lot of people & companies out there right now that will say they stand with us but only do it so they dont get bashed not because they mean it.”
Kyle Kuzma, Flag Code Expert
Kuzma also pointed out some hypocrisy among those who lambaste players who kneel but have no problem with more explicit violations of the U.S. flag code. To illustrate his point, Kuzma showed a photo of a flag before an Indianapolis Colts game, spread horizontally over the length of the field.
Kuzma wrote, “In 2016, the NFL and the COUNTRY were outraged by Kaep for taking a knee because it was “disrespecting” our nation’s flag. Did they know that carrying the flag flat/laying it horizontally is against the US flag code? That’s disrespecting. Agendas..
Kuzma is right. The American flag code reads: “The flag should never be carried flat or horizontally, but always aloft and free. The flag should never be used as wearing apparel, bedding, or drapery. It should never be festooned, drawn back, nor up, in folds, but always allowed to fall free.”
Kuzma Tweets About Breona Taylor
Kuzma went on to tweet about Louisville’s Breona Taylor, who was killed in her apartment in March when police apparently botched a drug warrant. Taylor was not armed, did not have drugs in her apartment and the police’s version of events leading up to her killing has been contradicted by witnesses.
Kuzma tweeted that, “We must continue to hold THE SYSTEM accountable for this murder. It’s easy to believe that an African-American would have drugs in their home based on how America has given the stereotype to our people dating back to the Nixon and (Reagan) presidencies. #BreonnaTaylor”
He also wondered, as have many, why the U.S. has been slow to adopt body-camera technology for all police officers across the country.
He wrote: “America funds police departments across our country billions upon billions of dollars per year. with us living in the golden era of technology all officers are not required to wear body cameras?”