Only one NBA player refused to kneel for the National Anthem before Wednesday night’s Game 1 of the NBA Finals.
Miami Heat big man Meyers Leonard was the lone player participating in the outing not to take a knee.
Only one of the Refs and Meyers Leonard standing up during anthem. pic.twitter.com/paYkEmU8KG
— Consigliere (@consigliere_22) October 1, 2020
Naturally, Twitter had some reactions to this.
Meyers Leonard standing for the anthem bc he knows he’ll be sitting for the rest of the game
— jack (@JumpinJackConst) October 1, 2020
“MEYERS LEONARD IS A RACIST BIGOT GO TO HELL” pic.twitter.com/gFXBKiczIr
— Carshaun (@CarshaunWentz) October 1, 2020
Y’all are mad cuz Meyers Leonard is standing for the Anthem? pic.twitter.com/ZKq1eJr5HA
— BOAT season I guess (0-3) (@SpweedzSZN) October 1, 2020
Respect for the Miami Heat for letting Meyers Leonard stand during the anthem, even though he stands for black lives matter he respects what his brother did for his country. Don’t be afraid to stand for both causes.
— Andrew Olivas (@_Astro_4k_) October 1, 2020
Meyers Leonard realizing he’s the only one standing pic.twitter.com/SEBXv8FJJ5
— Goldilocks (@GoldenTrawick) October 1, 2020
40 yo republican white men gonna say they getting a Meyers Leonard jersey now 😂
— okay (@ceoofok) October 1, 2020
Meyers Leonard is so weird lol you’re not different bro
— ᴊᴍ ™️ (@JoelManivan) October 1, 2020
Meyers Leonard is an all time douche bag
— Plumber (@CodybeingCody) October 1, 2020
Leonard has previously discussed why he always opts to stand for the National Anthem.
It is primarily due to his brother, Bailey Leonard, who joined the US Marine Corp in August 2008 and served multiple times.
.@MeyersLeonard‘s older brother, Bailey, joined the Marines in response to 9/11.
The two brothers shared an emotional moment tonight on Inside the NBA. pic.twitter.com/ayMICj2UuX
— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) September 12, 2020
“Some of the conversations I’ve had over the past three days, quite literally, have been the most difficult,” Leonard said recently.
“I am a compassionate human being and I truly love all people. I can’t fully comprehend how our world, literally and figuratively, has turned into Black and white. There’s a line in the sand, so to speak: ‘If you’re not kneeling, you’re not with us.’ And that’s not true.
Dwight Howard kept it real. https://t.co/ZzyKKkZluk
— Game 7 (@game7__) October 1, 2020
“I will continue to use my platform, my voice and my actions to show how much I care about the African American culture and for everyone. I live my life to serve and impact others in a positive way.”
Based on the response his decision got this time around, it will be interesting to see if Leonard continues to stand for the National Anthem in future games.
Leonard’s Heat will take on LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers in Game 2 of their NBA Finals match-up on Friday night.