Several of the players on Portland Trail Blazers were asked about the role athletes play in politics during media day this afternoon, after hundreds of NFL players took a knee, locked arms or stayed in the locker room during the National Anthem yesterday to protest police brutality.
This afternoon, Lillard expressed support for the athletes who took a knee.
"I'm happy to see athletes taking a role in politics. I'm more happy that some guys are actually informed," Lillard told reporters. "I think it's sad that with all that's going on in the world, our president is concerned with football and basketball. I kind of think that's crazy, but with what you saw yesterday with guys locking arms and kneeling and not coming out for the national anthem—I think that's what it would take, that type of togetherness, to truly take a stand."
Lillard went on the say that "the opposition" to players' taking a knee, "is the real problem."
"Colin Kaepernick doesn't have a job because he took a knee," he said.
Blazers player C.J. McCollum was not asked his opinion of the protest. Jusuf Nurkić said he did not believe professional athletes should not play a role in politics.
"We play sports," Nurkić, who is from Bosnia, told reporters. "To be part of that, it is ridiculous. Everybody needs to do their own job. We need to be playing and make our life and people's lives happier…I'm not involved in this."