On Sunday, Cleveland Cavaliers guard Iman Shumpert released a song called ‘His Story’ that is about telling his own story in a way he wants to through music. In the song, Shump rapped ‘Ya best believe/Ima take me a knee for the anthem’ in a clear nod towards the movement of NFL players kneeling during the anthem in protest of the oppression of black people in America. The string of protests, started for 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, has drawn an lot of attention and sparked a conversation about how athletes should protest.
Here’s Shump’s annotation of the lyric. In it, he does not say one way or another if he will kneel or sit during the anthem any future Cavaliers games:
With saying that I was letting people know I’m not ok with it and that I respect Colin’s stance for sure. Now that it’s out there I know I will have to consult with my organization before any action is taken. The freedom of speech just opens people up to my mind which is why it’s on wax before hardwood.
Ulimately, Shumpert has the right to do whatever he wants to do. Within the organization, he is also likely to find understanding voices. Cavaliers like LeBron James and James Jones have been involved in protests in the past. Specifically, James and other Cavaliers wore ‘I Can’t Breath’ shirts before a game in Brooklyn after Eric Garner was killed by New York Police in 2014. James, along with fellow NBA stars Chris Paul, Carmelo Anthony and Dwyane Wade, spoke out on Black Lives Matter at this summer’s ESPYs.
Check out the song below: