LeBron James insists he will stand for the national anthem this season and not follow the lead of San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick.
Many were hoping James would join in with the form of protest staged by NFL star Kaepernick, who said he will not stand "to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people".
Cleveland Cavaliers talisman James has spoken out on similar social issues in the past, but will stop short of taking Kaepernick's approach.
"Me standing for the national anthem is something I will do," James said at the Cavs' media day on Monday. "That's who I am. That's what I believe in."
However, James claimed to have nothing but respect for Kaepernick and the movement he has started.
"You have the right to voice your opinion, stand for your opinion, and he's doing it in the most peaceful way I've ever seen someone do something," added the 31-year-old.
"What I do not like about this situation is the negative attention that's been thrown upon him from certain people, because it's not deserved.
"He was very educated, very smart, very candid and very demanding about what he wanted to do. And he didn't ask anyone to join him."