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Oklahoma rep warns state would reexamine Thunder’s tax benefits if players kneel during anthem

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Utah Jazz v Oklahoma City Thunder Photo by Bill Baptist/NBAE via Getty Images

The Oklahoma City Thunder were undeterred Saturday from kneeling after an Oklahoma state representative threatened the team if they knelt during the national anthem.

In a statement, Rep. Sean Roberts (R-Hominy) described players that kneeled as unpatriotic and being disrespectful to the flag and everything it stands for.

Rep. Roberts also tied the Black Lives Matter movement to Marxism and is trying to “destroy nuclear families.”

He also threatened to strip the team’s tax benefits they receive from the state.

“If the Oklahoma City Thunder leadership and players follow the current trend of the NBA by kneeling during the national anthem prior to Saturday’s game, perhaps we need to reexamine the significant tax benefits the State of Oklahoma granted the Oklahoma City Thunder organization when they came to Oklahoma,” Rep. Roberts said in the statement. “Through the Quality Jobs Act, the Thunder is still under contract to receive these tax breaks from our state until 2024.”

Kneeling during the national anthem began in 2016 when former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick began doing so to protest racial inequality and police brutality.

“Perhaps these funds would be better served in support of our police departments rather than giving tax breaks to an organization that supports defunding police and the dissolution of the American nuclear family,” Rep. Roberts concluded.