Sacramento Kings forward Matt Barnes joined the growing list of athletes who support Colin Kaepernick’s national anthem protest over racial injustice in America. Recently, Barnes posted a picture to his Instagram account that showed Kaepernick voted as the NFL’s most disliked player by a certain percentage, a statistic that baffles the veteran.
“I love his stand. I love what he’s been able to bring to attention,” Barnes told The Jim Rome Show on Wednesday. “I think what bothers me is the people that have a problem with him actually peacefully protesting but don’t have a problem with the cops killing these innocent black people day to day. You can attest to this, him taking a knee has been bigger story than these people losing their life daily, and that’s disgusting to me.
“He’s peacefully protesting and I don’t think he’s disrespecting the people who fought for our country. I think he’s just standing up for the people who lost their lives for the people who are paid to protect us in this country.”
Entering his 13th season in the league, and his first with Sacramento, Barnes talked about how much the game’s physicality has changed over the years.
“It’s a lot softer. I equate to it’s like going from the NFL to flag football really,” Barnes said. “You can’t touch people, you can’t breathe on people, you get fouls for looking at people the wrong way these days. And it’s disappointing for the pure NBA fans that remembered how physical and how competitive the game use to be because you were allowed to hand check, or you were allowed to, you know, you can get away with a body foul, every hard foul wasn’t a flagrant foul or a flagrant two. Now, if someone hits the floor, they want to review it, or now, if you swipe for the ball and they cover their eye, it could be a flagrant foul, so it’s crazy.”
The 36-year-old said the focus has changed to scoring over the years, instead of the tough-nosed ball he grew up watching.
“It’s just a different game, now. Back then, it was a physical man’s sport, and sometimes, you know when men get heated, fights or arguments break out,” Barnes said. “But now, it’s more about scoring, star-studded guys putting up 30-40 points instead of actually allowing people to play defense, allowing people to be physical.”