Retired NBA star Metta World Peace recently spoke about the number of players kneeling in support of Black Lives Matter. He did not criticize Orlando Magic player Jonathan Isaac for not kneeling, and he explained that he might have acted similarly. Peace told TMZ that he likely wouldn't kneel if he still played in the NFL.
The outlet caught up with the man formerly known as Ron Artest at Los Angeles International Airport. He said that "everybody deserves to have an opinion" on this matter. Peace also said that he personally wouldn't kneel. "Ain't no way I'm kneeling. Me, personally, I'm not going to kneel to someone that I don't like," Peace told TMZ. He clarified that he supports kneeling, but he just personally wouldn't do so.
Isaac, who is Black, became the first NBA player to stand during the national anthem while everyone else knelt. He also did not wear a Black Lives Matter shirt and instead opted for his Magic game jersey. Isaac later explained his reasoning for these choices on Friday prior to a game against the Brooklyn Nets.
"For me Black lives are supported through the gospel," Isaac said. "All lives are supported through the gospel. We all have things that we do wrong and sometimes it gets to a place that we're pointing fingers at who's wrong is worst. Or who's wrong is seen, so I feel like the Bible tells us that we all fall short of God's glory. That will help bring us closer together and get past skin color. And get past anything that's on the surface and doesn't really get into the hearts or men and women."
Some Twitter users criticized Isaac and his decision to stand. Others showed support and said that they respect him. Peace said that everyone has a right to have an opinion.
In addition to speaking about the right to have an opinion and whether or not to kneel, Peace spoke about the NBA's return to action. He expressed the opinion that the winner of the NBA Finals should not have an asterisk next to their name. The reason he cited is that this year is unlike any other.
"This is the toughest one," Peace said about the NBA tournament in Orlando. "Definitely. Look at all of the variables. This is the toughest one. There's no asterisk next to this one." Peace did not name his favorite to win the title in 2020, but he listed the Los Angeles Lakers and the Milwaukee Bucks as potential options.