Joakim Noah is flat-out wrong.
Listen, you can believe whatever you want to in this country. That is what makes our country so great: the freedoms that we have by being citizens of this country. As the Knicks hold their preseason training camp at West Point, most members of the Knicks had dinner with cadets and listened to a speech from a former colonel. But not all members of the Knicks as one their newest members, Joakim Noah, decided not to make his presence felt.
Noah admitted to not attending adding he has a lot of respect for the kids who are fighting, but it is hard for him to understand why we have to go to war. Who wants war? There is nobody that wants war and looks forward to it. Plus, it is not the cadets who decide when and where to fight, it is the decision makers in Washington, D.C. Instead of using the cadets to try and send your no-war message, why don't you head down to D.C. and talk about it with the elected officials of our country? They make the decision to send the young men and women of our country to war. The young men and women that attend a particular service academy make the decision to serve our country and put their lives on the line if they are needed.
The U.S. military issued a statement saying, "West Point develops leaders of character for the defense of our nation. We are disappointed and feel Mr. Noah's choice of West Point to make a statement is inappropriate because of the great sacrifice that has originated from this institution over our nation's history."
First off, the Knicks are guests on the campus of West Point. It is inappropriate that Noah decided to make this stand using this vehicle. It is disrespectful to each and every one of the cadets that will become future leaders of this country. West Point was founded in 1802 and it is the oldest of the five service academies. If you ever take the time to speak to a cadet, you could not find more respectful young men and women that deserve our respect. They don't ask for it, they deserve it. They have sacrificed early in their respective lives to put themselves in position to attend a service academy. They have decided to make that choice with their lives. They believe in the sacrifice they are about to make. What Joakim Noah did was flat-out wrong. I am a firm believer in standing up for what you believe in and using the platform you have to try and bring about change.
Deciding not to attend a dinner that was being held at West Point, where your team is having training camp, is sending a message to the wrong people and in the wrong direction. I have no issue with people in the spotlight using their platform, but just make sure you use it in the right way.