Nationwide — The NBA pre-season has already started, and the league office has issued a memo to all 30 teams about the country’s national anthem. The memo included the restatement of an existing rule requiring all personnel (including players) to stand for the national anthem.
NBA commissioner Adam Silver comments, “We have a rule that requires our players to stand for the anthem. It’s been a rule as long as I’ve been involved with the league, and my expectation is that our players will continue to stand for the anthem.”
Here are some quotes from the memo he released:
* “The NBA has a rule that players, coaches and trainers stand respectfully for the anthem. The league office will determine how to deal with any possible instance in which a player, coach or trainer does not stand for the anthem. (Teams do not have the discretion to waive this rule).”
* “Our teams’ focus remains on unity and collective action that leads to meaningful change in society. The players have embraced their roles in those efforts and we are proud of the work they do in our communities.”
* “We believe sports are a unifier and this is an opportunity for the NBA to once again lead by its core values of equality, inclusion and unity and to bridge divides and bring people together.”
The memo also offered alternatives for players to express their political and social views.
So, the question remains: Will Black NBA players follow in suit with this requirement or will they #TakeaKneel?
President Trump’s recent remarks on Twitter prompted widespread protests when he uninvited champion player Stephen Curry to the White House, and referred to Black athletes who don’t stand for the anthem as “sons of b****es”.
Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant spoke out about the derogatory comments, and LeBron James called the president a “bum” and even suggested people who voted for him were “uneducated.”