Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James said the controversial former football player Colin Kaepernick “gave up everything” when he protested during the national anthem at National Football League games, praising him for his “sacrifice.”
Speaking on HBO’s The Shop, James contended Kaepernick had his career “taken away from him” via NFL collusion. The NFL recently settled a civil lawsuit with Kaepernick on that contention for a reported $60 million to $80 million.
“Kap’s still for something that was bigger than him,” James said. “He sacrificed. How many people can wake up and say, you know what? I’ll give everything that I’ve worked for my whole life for the better of the conversation. Oh, I’m gonna lose everything I got personally for the better of the conversation. That’s why we can sit here and salute Kap.”
James added: “And I hope that whatever the amount of money he got sets him up for him, his kids, his grandkids, and his grandkids’ kids’ kids. I hope it’s that much money, I really do. Because the beautiful sport was taken away from him. So, I hope that whatever the settlement was, it sets generations up forever.”
Kaepernick became a free agent when he opted out of the final year of his contract with the San Francisco 49ers in 2016. Although he had conversations with several teams, he was never re-signed and remains out of the NFL.