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. Turns out, Waiters was just acting in accordance with what his Islamic religious beliefs are.
CLEVELAND 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? (Rebelling in the sense that Muslims find loyalty to the country to be un-Islamic)
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.
The guard refused to talk any further on the matter. “I don’t really want to talk about that, my religion,” he said. “I don’t really want to talk about that. I want to talk about basketball.”
Many people seem to believe that with the acquisition of LeBron James and company, Cleveland Cavs guard Dion Waiters has become expendable; or at the very least will be relegated to coming off the bench next season.