Waiters dismisses report it was due to religious reasons…
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Cleveland Cavaliers guard Dion Waiters has broken his silence on Twitter and explained why he failed to attend the national anthem in Utah last week.
A report emerged that he missed the national anthem for religious reasons, but he dismissed it as a “big misunderstanding” and added that he was going through his normal pre-game routine which over-ran and forced him to miss the start of proceedings.
The Northeast Ohio Media Group quoted Waiters on Friday saying that it was because of his religion, but the Cavaliers guard was keen to explain that was not the case.
“It was a big miscommunication,” Waiters said after practice Sunday. “Big misunderstanding. I love my country. I love the United States of America. I’d rather be here than any place else. It was just a big misunderstanding on both parts.”
Waiters claimed he was misquoted on Friday as saying that it was religious reasons but he didn’t want to go into further detail.
However, he released a conflicting statement on Twitter and insisted that it was his custom to retire back to the locker room five-to-seven minutes prior to tip-off before coming back out for the anthem.
“I went in the back for my normal routine that I normally do and it just happened to take longer than what I expected,” Waiters said. “I missed [the anthem] one time and, you know, this happened. So I’m not worried about it.”
Waiters was also keen to dismiss that his absence had anything to do with the decision from coach David Blatt to bench him for Shawn Marion, as it coincided with the first game that he was asked to play as a reserve.
Blatt also spoke on the matter and insisted that it was just a big misunderstanding but after speaking with Waiters they are keen to move on from the situation and he added that his star guard will be out for the anthem from now on.