I think part of why I've never taken issue with the kneeling during the anthem or any athlete speaking on political/social issues (outside of it being in their right to do so), is I've just never found much value in what they have to say when it comes to these sort of things. That doesn't mean there isn't any, or that that they should "shut up and dribble", but on the whole, I just choose not to look to far removed multi-million dollar athletes for advice on who I should vote for or how I should feel about a certain political or social issue.
I treat celebrities and musicians the same way. I've never gotten into the celebrity/athlete worship. I separate the art from the artist and recognize that I listen to Kanye or another artist because of the art they produce not because of how the artist themselves feels about something politically or socially. That's why I've never subscribed to the boycott culture where people will stop listening or watching a certain artist or celebrity because they took a stance on something they didn't agree with because at the end of the day, I wasn't a fan of that celebrity, or artist, or athlete for those reasons, I was a fan because of the art they produced.
One thing I will credit them for tho, is it does get people talking and it does bring awareness to certain pressing issues in this country whether someone agrees with what is being said or not. I think that is where the value lies. It gets people at the ground level to discuss these issues and encourages them to have discourse and see other perspectives but it's those perspectives and opinions I will always value over an athlete or celebrities.
Some take issue with viewing the world through those lenses, but that's just how I see it. So much of what I see from these big cooperations and multi-million-dollar athletes/celebrities is just performative activism to begin with. Here is an example
. The hypocrisy is also on full display with how the NBA and players decided to handle the Hong Kong situation. So while I'm glad that it's encouraging debate/discussion, I don't really value or take seriously anything said by the athletes or the NBA themselves.