Basketball legend Shaquille O’Neal has waded into the debate over standing or sitting during the national anthem.
The debate was launched by San Francisco 49ers player Colin Kaepernick who sat during an NFL pregame, in protest to police violence against African Americans.
The gesture of protest has launched a firestorm of controversy, and now many more athletes have joined in on sitting during the National Anthem.
“I would never do that,” O’Neal told Fox and Friend Wednesday.
”I mean to each his own, something I wouldn’t do,” he said.
“I don’t really have a say on it but I would never do that. My father was a military man and he protected this country — uncles are in law enforcement, they go out and work hard every day. Just, you know, there are other ways to get your point across.”
The former basketball player has a history of interest in law enforcement. As New York Daily News points out, he was “a reserve officer with the Los Angeles Port Police and later trained to become a Miami Beach reserve officer. In 2005, O’Neal was given an honorary U.S. Deputy Marshal title.”
Another professional basketball player spoke out about the National Anthem protest this week. Steph Curry of the Golden State Warriors had a different sentiment.
“I love that. I love that there’s freedom of speech and that he can stand for what he believes in. There’s gonna be people that disagree with him,” Curry told CNBC.
The debate is not over. As the NFL moves into its season, other teams and players may be preparing to make their own statements of protest.