When the NBA season resumed this summer, LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers took a knee during the National Anthem — a heavily scrutinized, yet valiant, way of protesting against police brutality adopted by former San Francisco 49er quarterback Colin Kaepernick.
“I hope we continue to make him proud,” James said at the time and it seems he has.
On Friday (Aug. 28), James shared with his more than 71 million Instagram followers Kaepernick’s words of appreciation.
“Four years ago on August 14, 2016, I began protesting against systemic racism and social injustice,” Kaepernick penned to James. “Truth is what I sought. Solidarity is what you showed me. Love is what moves us forward. Thank you for staying true.”
Above the note, James captioned: “Standing/kneeling right next to you brother! Appreciate you.”
The NBA champ unveiled the letter as teams are choosing to sit out games in response to the police shooting of 29-year-old Jacob Blake, an unarmed Black man who was shot in the back seven times in front of his kids in Kenosha, Wisconsin on Aug. 23.
Blake is now paralyzed from the waist down as a result of the shooting. Protests erupted following the shooting which resulted in a 17-year-old gunman killing two protesters.
On Wednesday (Aug. 26), the Milwaukee Bucks were among the first of NBA teams that chose not to play. Shortly thereafter, the Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers followed suit and voted to end the season early.
The next day, James had a talk with former President Barack Obama. The league is scheduled to resume games on Saturday and some teams have committed to turning their arenas into official polling sites ahead of Election Day on November 3.
Kaepernick began kneeling during the national anthem in 2016 to protest police brutality after the shooting of Mario Woods by San Francisco police officers and was reportedly pushed out the league. In June, James said that the NFL owes Kaepernick an apology.