Despite many teams in the NFL and NBA expressing their willingness to sit or take a knee during the national anthem, the Knicks decided they would all stand in unity during Tuesday's preseason opener.
However, Enes Kanter said he would have done the opposite if he had been given the opportunity. Kanter, who is originally from Turkey, had his passport revoked this spring and was nearly arrested by Turkish police after the government claimed he was part of a terrorist organization. His father was arrested this summer for criticizing the Turkish president.
"If they would've left it up to me, yes, I would've taken a knee," Kanter said. "But as a team, we decided not to take a knee. The most important thing in America is equality and justice. If you don't see these two things in America, I feel really bad, I feel really sad inside."
The Knicks did lock arms during singing of the anthem, which Joakim Noah feels sends a message of what the players believe in.
"We decided we wanted to put out a message, and we came up with the message as a team, and we wanted to do something, that's for sure," Noah said. "We all feel the injustice and we wanted to have a symbol as a team. We put out a message so that people understood that we weren't just locking arms."