David West is a 13-year NBA veteran who played 13 minutes off the bench in his first game with the Golden State Warriors over the weekend. During the National Anthem, David West appeared to join the National Anthem protest started by Colin Kaepernick, by standing slightly apart from his teammates. Here’s Marc Spears on The Undefeated:
While the rest of the Warriors players stood in line across the court, as usual, West’s actions could have been perceived as the latest athlete protest of the national anthem following San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s move. West told The Undefeated, however, that he actually has been last in line and standing just behind his teammates during the national anthem for years. It just went unnoticed as West says his personal stance is about issues “a lot deeper” than just the major one Kaepernick is raising.
The Undefeated says that Draymond Green and Steve Kerr were among those who hadn’t noticed West’s protest on Saturday, but what about the fact that this has apparently been going on for years? Years. How did we miss this in San Antonio last season? Or Indiana the year before. Or all the way back to his time in New Orleans. Also from The Undefeated:
West said former New Orleans Hornets teammate Chris Paul noticed his actions when they played together and tried to no avail to get him to stand in line with everyone else.
West and Paul most recently played together in New Orleans in 2011. So that means West has been protesting the National Anthem for 5+ years without anyone noticing or him even bringing it up. Also, West told The Undefeated just last week that he hadn’t decided if he would join the protest:
Warriors newcomer forward David West told The Undefeated that he has yet to decide whether to protest the national anthem, and that each player should make his own decision.
That certainly seems like it would have been a natural place to mention his previous protest experience.
And how has no one ever noticed David West standing off to the side during the National Anthem considering the number of prolific NBA Playoff games (59 since 2011) he’s played in? Here’s a picture of West from an NBA Twitpic in May 2013.
I’m not saying West hasn’t been protesting in some form – and he obviously has something to say about what’s going on in society, which you can read on The Undefeated – but it seems very weird that no one ever noticed.