UPDATE: Waiters now says it was all a big misunderstanding, and that he did not miss the anthem because of his Islamic faith.
Everyone knows that only greasy Islamophobes think that Islam teaches that loyalty to the religion transcends loyalty to one’s nation. So how did Dion Waiters get this idea? And if he were ever called upon to defend his nation against, say, the Islamic State, what would he do?
“Dion Waiters informs NEOMG that he is a Muslim and plans to skip national anthems,” by Chris Haynes, Cleveland.com, November 8, 2014 (thanks to Darcy):
DENVER, Colo. – Prior to the Cavaliers getting set to take on the Utah Jazz on Wednesday, one of their players was missing from the pregame opening events.
Dion Waiters was nowhere to be found when the national anthem was being sung. He was absent when the starting lineups were introduced.
It was the first game of the season that he was coming off the bench. He finally arrived from the locker room to join the Cavaliers’ bench a couple seconds before tip off. Folks started to speculate if he was injured, disgruntled or if this was his way of rebelling?
Turns out, Waiters was just acting in accordance with what he feels his religious beliefs are.
Waiters informed Northeast Ohio Media Group that he is a Muslim and that’s the reason he excused himself prior to the national anthem.
“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.
The guard, however, did stand with his team during Friday’s national anthem before they faced the Denver Nuggets. Maybe he’s selective with it….