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Phoenix Suns players weigh in on possible national anthem protests during the upcoming NBA season

Posted: 3:08 PM, Sep 26, 2016
Updated: 2016-09-26 20:07:04-04

On Sunday, 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick and other NFL players continued to protest during the national anthem as part of an ongoing effort to shine a spotlight on racial injustice and inequitable police treatment in the United States.

There's a good chance that a number of NBA players will take up that cause when the season begins next month - and as a young African-American man  whose mother is the new Phoenix police chief,  Phoenix Suns forward Alan Williams knows that places him in an interesting spot.

"My mom being a police officer and me being a young black man in this country, it's definitely a unique situation," Williams told ABC15 during Suns media day Monday. 

SEE ALSO: LeBron James says he'll stand for the anthem but fears for his kids

Williams said the Suns haven't decided whether they will participate in any anthem demonstrations, but a team discussion will probably happen soon.

"I'm sure we'll discuss it as a team and come up with something that works for everybody," he said.

A trio of Suns guards and Kentucky alums -- Devin Booker, Brandon Knight and Archie Goodwin -- had varying takes about NFL anthem protests and the possibility of them carrying over to the NBA.

Knight, a sixth-year pro whom the Suns acquired in a trade with the Bucks during the 2014-15 season, admires Kaepernick's courage for bringing an important issue to light -- even though many people have a problem with the way he's done it.

"It's a free country. He's doing what he believes in. He's trying to bring a matter that is important to him to light and trying to find a way to show something that needs to be changed," Knight said.

"A lot of people don't agree with it but I commend him for being able to step up and as an athlete be able to do what he believes in. A lot of people don't do it based on losing certain sponsorships and things like that, but like I said, I commend him for having the courage to stand up for what he believes in."

Unlike Knight, the 19-year-old Booker, whom LeBron James said could be the NBA's next breakout star,  aims to stay out of the controversy altogether.

"I haven't talked on it. I haven't really thought about it," he said. "My focus is to go out there and play basketball. I try to stay out of that. Obviously there's a lot going on but I'm not trying to get involved in it."

Like Booker, Goodwin suggested he'll abstain from any anthem demonstrations during the NBA season, preferring to keep his opinions to himself.

But the Suns' 2013 NBA Draft pick said he respects those who have spoken up.

"Me personally, my beliefs, I keep those things private," Goodwin said. "But for everyone who does it and who doesn't do it, they have their own personal reasons for it.

"I respect everyone for whatever they believe in, but at the end of the day, my job is to use my voice in the way I want to use it and use it for a positive message, and not for something as far as trying to start violence or something like that, so I just keep everything pretty much private."

Along with his admiration for Kaepernick, Knight said he's been inspired by Carmelo Anthony, who has also been outspoken about social change in the U.S.

"Melo I think also was a big part of that this summer, telling guys to believe in what you stand for, and I think Colin Kaepernick is doing that in whatever way he feels is best," he said.

Despite the protests led by Kaepernick, Knight noted social unrest has continued to rage on, such as in Charlotte following another police shooting.

That's why he's happy Kaepernick and others have used their public platform to bring the issue of racial inequality to light.

"It's about more of just trying to bring attention to it in whatever way is best, and just trying to find a solution to it," he said. "It's not going to be solved overnight, but it's about continuing to get better, and I think Colin Kaepernick along with the rest of us -- with our position, we don't feel right not doing anything.

"(It's about) just trying to find the best way to bring it to light so it can be on a path to being fixed and being solved."