Oklahoma taxpayers should not have to pay for having their values treated with disrespect by National Basketball Association players, according to an Oklahoma state lawmaker.
Republican state Rep. Sean Roberts of Hominy shared his ire that players on the Oklahoma City Thunder, which gets tax breaks from the state of Oklahoma, would not stand for the national anthem.
“By kneeling during the playing of the national anthem, the NBA and its players are showing disrespect to the American flag and all it stands for. This anti-patriotic act makes clear the NBA’s support of the Black Lives Matter group and its goal of defunding our nation’s police, its ties to Marxism and its efforts to destroy nuclear families,” Roberts said Friday in a statement on his website.
“If the Oklahoma City Thunder leadership and players follow the current trend of the NBA by kneeling during the national anthem prior to Saturday’s game, perhaps we need to reexamine the significant tax benefits the State of Oklahoma granted the Oklahoma City Thunder organization when they came to Oklahoma. Through the Quality Jobs Act, the Thunder is still under contract to receive these tax breaks from our state until 2024,” he said.
OKC Thunder response to Oklahoma Senator Sean Roberts warning OKC Thunder players against kneeling during the national anthem, and threatening to reexamine the Thunder’s tax benefits if players kneel.
Much Respect ?????? pic.twitter.com/hBjaBjxOlj
— Etan Thomas (@etanthomas36) August 1, 2020
According to Yahoo Sports, all of the players on both the Utah Jazz and Oklahoma City Thunder knelt during the first game of their seasons at the NBA bubble in Orlando, Florida. Players all wore Black Lives Matter shirts, according to USA Today.
“Certainly, we’re very very aware of all that’s been going on in our country,” Thunder head coach Billy Donovan said prior to the game.
“Chris Paul being president of the player’s association, we’ve had a lot of discussions about this,” he said, referring to the Thunder’s point guard. “I think this platform to bring awareness of social injustice is important.”
Roberts said that taxpayers’ dollars should flow to organizations in line with taxpayers’ values.
“Perhaps these funds would be better served in support of our police departments rather than giving tax breaks to an organization that supports defunding police and the dissolution of the American nuclear family,” he said.
Although most NBA players knelt for the anthem of the weekend, Orlando Magic forward Jonathan Isaac was an exception. Isaac also did not wear a Black Lives Matter shirt, as did his teammates and all of the Brooklyn Nets during Friday’s opener, according to People.
Thank you, Jonathan Isaac. And God bless you.https://t.co/Keqc3gSkyx
— Mark R. Levin (@marklevinshow) August 1, 2020
Isaac said he didn’t think “putting that shirt on and kneeling went hand-in-hand with supporting black lives.”
“I do believe black lives matter, but I just felt like it was a decision I had to make,” Isaac said, according to People.
“For me, black lives are supported through the gospel,” he said. “All lives are supported through the gospel.”
Isaac said society needs to get past the superficial.
“We all have things that we do wrong and sometimes it gets to a place that we’re pointing fingers at who’s wrong is worst. Or who’s wrong is seen, so I feel like the Bible tells us that we all fall short of God’s glory,” he said, according to People.
“That will help bring us closer together and get past skin color. And get past anything that’s on the surface and doesn’t really get into the hearts of men and women.”
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