Kings Players React to National Anthem Controversy

Our National Anthem has been a hot topic in professional sports since President Donald Trump called out athletes who’ve chosen to take a knee during the traditional pre-game playing of “The Star Spangled Banner."

 As the Sacramento Kings prepare to start their season, we asked players for their take on the issue.

Rookie Forward Justin Jackson, a standout from the University of North Carolina, knows everyone isn’t going to agree.

"Whether you sit or stand, I think there should be a level of respect for people who have died," says Jackson. "If that respect level gets lower for people who kneel, I don't know. But I know for me, I respect people who put their lives on the line for our country."

Justin Jackson

Kings Coach Dave Joerger wouldn’t address the issue specifically, but says in an effort to minimize distractions, he’ll encourage team discussions on such topics behind close doors.

Kings owner Vivek Ranadive issued a written statement Sunday saying the team’s mission has always been to unite the community. He writes: "We continue to stand with our players, and all people, who use their platform to raise awareness and make Sacramento and our country proud.”

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