LeBron James on NFL settlement: 'I stand with Kaep'

When news came out on Friday that former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick and safety Eric Reid reached a financial settlement with the NFL to end their joint collusion suit, the sports world was stunned.

Although a confidential agreement bars any party from talking about how much — if anything — was paid, the consensus seems to be that the former 49ers QB would have only settled if they came into a major windfall.

This was extremely welcomed news to one of Kaepernick’s biggest supporters and one of the most visible athletes: LeBron James.

“It’s important to stick up for what you believe in, you know what I’m saying? I stand with Kaep. I kneel with Kaep,” James said. “I just feel what he was talking about, nobody wanted to listen to him. Nobody ever really wanted to actually understand where he was coming from. I think that anybody that will sacrifice their livelihood for the better of all of us, I can respect that. And he’s done that. You’ve got a guy who basically lost his job because he wanted to stand for something that was bigger than just him.”

“I’m happy to see the news come out yesterday that he won his suit,” James added. “I hope it’s a hell of a lot of money that can set not only him up but set his family up, set his grandkids up for the rest of their lives. I hope that the word of what he did will live on throughout American history but also world history because it’s important for all of us, not only African-Americans but for everybody that wants to stand up for something that’s more important than them.”

LeBron James’ activism

Although NBA players have not knelt during the national anthem to protest racial inequality and police brutality, they have been among the most active athletes to speak publicly about those very issues. James has been one the most outspoken players, which is even more impressive considering he’s the most well-known player in a generation.

After the death of Eric Garner at the hands of New York City police, NBA players including James wore “I Can’t Breathe” shirts in reference to Garner’s final words. James and his Miami Heat teammates wore hoodies after the 2012 death of Trayvon Martin in nearby Sanford, Florida.

The Lakers star has spoken out about a myriad of other political and societal issues, as have prominent coaches Steve Kerr and Gregg Popovich of the Golden State Warriors and San Antonio Spurs, respectively.

James has consistently stood by Kaepernick as well. He wore a Kaepernick shirt before a preseason game this year, donned a Kaepernick jersey ahead of the Super Bowl and even supported Nike and Kaepernick’s 30th anniversary campaign.

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LeBron James takes the court as a Laker for the first time
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LeBron James takes the court as a Laker for the first time
Sep 30, 2018; San Diego, CA, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) runs onto the court for the first time before a preseason game against the Denver Nuggets at Valley View Casino Center. Mandatory Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 30, 2018; San Diego, CA, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) warms up before the game against the Denver Nuggets at Valley View Casino Center. Mandatory Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 30, 2018; San Diego, CA, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) reacts after being called for a foul during the second quarter against the Denver Nuggets at Valley View Casino Center. Mandatory Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports
SAN DIEGO, CA - SEPTEMBER 30: LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers comes around a screen from Kyle Kuzma #0 during a preseason game against the Denver Nuggets at Valley View Casino Center on September 30, 2018 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Sep 30, 2018; San Diego, CA, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) looks on during the first quarter against the Denver Nuggets at Valley View Casino Center. Mandatory Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports
SAN DIEGO, CA - SEPTEMBER 30: LeBron James #23, Rajon Rondo #9, JaVale McGee #7 and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope #1 of the Los Angeles Lakers talk after a stop in play during a preseason game against the Denver Nuggets at Valley View Casino Center on September 30, 2018 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
SAN DIEGO, CA - SEPTEMBER 30: LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers looks to pass in front of Will Barton #5 and Mason Plumlee #24 of the Denver Nuggets during a preseason game at Valley View Casino Center on September 30, 2018 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
SAN DIEGO, CA - SEPTEMBER 30: LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles waits during a preseason game against the Denver Nuggets at Valley View Casino Center on September 30, 2018 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
SAN DIEGO, CA - SEPTEMBER 30: LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers reacts to his foul during a preseason game against the Denver Nuggets at Valley View Casino Center on September 30, 2018 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
SAN DIEGO, CA - SEPTEMBER 30: Shoes of LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers worn during a preseason game against the Denver Nuggets at Valley View Casino Center on September 30, 2018 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
SAN DIEGO, CA - SEPTEMBER 30: LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles waits during a preseason game against the Denver Nuggets at Valley View Casino Center on September 30, 2018 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Sep 30, 2018; San Diego, CA, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) speaks to the media following the game against the Denver Nuggets at Valley View Casino Center. Mandatory Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports
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