Just as Jeremy Lin said they would, the Nets staged a gesture of team-wide solidarity during the playing of the national anthem before the preseason opener Thursday night at Barclays Center. But that’s not going to be the end of it if Lin has his way.
After a 101-94 win over Detroit, Lin said he and other players hope to reach out to the community in Brooklyn with the support of the organization to help mend divisions that have arisen as a result of police shootings of unarmed African-Americans.
When it was time for the anthem, all of the Nets put their arms over each other’s shoulders. The Pistons stood and linked arms.
“I think we all can acknowledge there is an issue at hand, but how you go about that is really what we tried to do, just arms around each other, solidarity,” Lin said. “This isn’t anti-cops. This country needs cops. This isn’t anti-minorities. This country needs minorities. That’s what makes a nation great.
“We need both, and we need compassion and more sympathy where guys can take the time to really put themselves in somebody else’s shoes. So if I’m a minority, I have to think about what it’s like to be the wife of a cop. She’s scared that her husband has to go to work. On the other side, I have to think about what it’s like to be a family member of an African-American male.”
Lin said the division and hostility evident across the nation as a result of the shootings and subsequent political protests is disturbing. So he’s not satisfied simply to engage in a symbolic gesture without backing it up with positive action.
“It’s not lip service,” Lin said. “We as a team and I as a person and we as an organization want to be able to do things in the community going forward to promote the same message. I should do something more and be more proactive about it, which we’re talking about internally . . . We felt that was the right thing to do at this time because we care a lot about this nation.”