Saturday, November 8, 2014

Dion Waiters skipped national anthem for religious reasons

On Wednesday, before the Cavaliers' game in Utah, those following Cleveland noticed Dion Waiters did not join the team during the pre-game presentation, including the singing of the national anthem. When asked by the Plain Dealer's Chris Haynes, Waiters attributed his absence to his religious beliefs:

Waiters informed Northeast Ohio Media Group that he is a Muslim and that he plans to excuse himself prior to the national anthem from here on out. "It's because of my religion," Waiters told NEOMG. "That's why I stayed in the locker room." Waiters says he is rededicating himself more to his Muslim faith. He appears to be in a happier state.

As Haynes explains, Waiters was absent not only for the anthem, but for lineup introductions -- a first because it was his first game of the season coming off the bench. In the Cavaliers' next game on Friday in Denver, Waiters remained out of the starting lineup, but did join his teammates for the anthem.

Waiters is not the first NBA player to forego standing for the anthem because of his Muslim faith. Nuggets guard Mahmoud Abdul-Raouf famously drew a one-game suspension from the NBA for his refusal to stand.

What do you think fair or foul?


  1. As someone that also served (U.S. Navy) I find it offensive that people hide behind religion. His Muslim beliefs haven’t stopped him from taking big pay checks from an infidel, while woefully under-performing at his job. The National Anthem mentions God only in the fourth verse. (we never sing more than one at events), so that argument is out too. Question. Why does Muslim mean anti-American????

  2. it helps to know THE WORDS to a song before bashing someone else for not singing it.

  3. Kudos? His foolishness just showed the rest of us how intolerant he is in the name of Islam. The National Anthem is not a religious prayer. He may be muslim, but he’s still American. For him to say it’s for religious beliefs makes no sense and only makes him look like a fool.

  4. FreedomFighter2112November 8, 2014 at 2:00 PM

    As someone who has served 21 years in the US Army, I defend his right to excuse himself from the National Anthem. I have fought most of my life defending everyone the Right to exercise their Free Speech and/or standing up for what they belief in. Some choose to burn the American flag, some choose to fly the flag upside down, some choose not to say the pledge of allegiance, etc. Defending people’s Freedoms and Rights when you don’t agree with their actions, is the most American thing you can ever do…that was something a wise Sergeant once told me along time ago. Our Nation was founded with the core belief of Freedom of Religion…not just freedom of Christianity. As Americans, we should respect the Rights of all people to practice their religion, so as long as it does not prevent you from practicing your religion.

    So be American and defend the Rights and Freedoms of ALL Americans.