NBA Players, Coaches, and Referees Take a Knee during the National Anthem on the First Day of Season Restart
As the NBA resumed its 2019-2020 season with no fans in the audience, everyone involved in the game knelt, remembering the NFL player’s actions since 2016.
As the National Anthem played right before the first NBA game that resumes the 2019-2020 season, members of the New Orleans Pelicans and Utah Jazz teams knelt in an act of peaceful protest for social justice.
A message posted on Twitter showed players and coaches as well as game officials kneeling and singing to show their support towards social movements against racism that have spread throughout the country following the killing of George Floyd.
After the Pelicans and Jazz finished their match, team members of the Los Angeles Clippers and Los Angeles Lakers did the same before their game started. All players also showed their support by wearing Black Lives Matter shirts with messages on their backs that read, “Equality” or “Say her name” instead of their names.
ON ONE KNEE
Kneeling during the National Anthem began to be a form of protest after NFL San Francisco 49ers player, Colin Kaepernick did this in 2016 to make a stand against police brutality and racial inequity. At the time, many players supported the peaceful demonstration while others rejected the action.
NBA Los Angeles Lakers player, LeBron James said at the time that he believed his own voice and the things he was doing for his community were a lot more meaningful than kneeling before a game. In 2017, President Donald Trump said players should not be protesting this way since it disrespected the American flag.
Colin Kaepernick, #7 of the San Francisco 49ers kneels during the anthem prior to the game against the Carolina Panthers at Bank of America Stadium on September 18, 2016 in Charlotte, North Carolina. I Image: Getty Images.
In 2017, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, also said he did not support this action. However, he recently changed his mind in an announcement made in June by saying he will support any activity the NBA assumed in order to demand social justice in the country.
Last Thursday, the 2019-2020 season was back after being suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic on March 11. In early June, NBA managers announced that the season would resume on July 30, taking health precautions to minimize the risk of spreading the virus.
Since then, players and coaches have been working at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World Resort near Orlando, Florida. The place which has also been called “the bubble” due to strict safety measures will be the venue for all remaining games to be played to complete the season and fans will not be allowed inside.Similar measures
have been taken by other major league sports that are preparing to resume their suspended seasons amid the pandemic. However, it might be different for MLB since it has counted about 100 players and staffers affected by the virus.