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Etan Thomas's NBA Letter

ESPN's "Outside the Lines First Report" did a piece on NBA players and political activism on Tuesday, pegged to the Olympics and Darfur and whether Kobe and LeBron will get active. Kobe has done a Darfur-related PSA (but refused to talk to ESPN for this piece) and LeBron, who once declined to sign teammate Ira Newble's open letter to the Chinese government, is now speaking in generic terms about how he and his U.S. teammates will respond to the issue this summer.

"I should speak on it and I am gonna speak on it," he told ESPN's Shelley Smith. "People should understand that human rights and people's lives are in jeopardy. We're not talking about contracts here. We're not talking about money. We're talking about people's lives being lost and that means a lot more to me than some money or a contract."

Anyhow, as you might have guessed, Smith also talked to Etan Thomas for the piece, finding out that Etan was the only NBA player not affiliated with the Cavs to sign Newble's letter, and that Thomas got a letter from the NBA after he spoke at an anti-war rally in 2005.

"Mostly, 'We don't want to see you [be] one of the people being dragged away in handcuffs because you crossed the line at the demonstration,' " Thomas said, summarizing the letter's contents. "I'm like 'No, I'm not gonna do that. I'm speaking, I'm going on the platform.' "

Cut to a smiling David Stern: "I would love to see that letter because it doesn't exist."

And then Stern attempted to rip several of Thomas's dreadlocks off his head.

By Dan Steinberg  |  May 22, 2008; 12:31 PM ET
Categories:  Wizards  
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