LeBron James, Anthony Davies & Other NBA Players Kneel For Anthem As NBA Returns
With the NBA restarting it’s season Thursday night for eight seeding games before they start the playoffs, every player and member of the coaching staff involved in the night’s festivities locked arms and kneeled during the national anthem.
Every player, coach and ref takes a knee during the national anthem before the Pelicans-Jazz game pic.twitter.com/LZy1A6s8VM
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) July 30, 2020
This is part of a concerted effort that the NBA has made to bring light to issues of social justice and racial equality during the season restart. Along with this powerful show of solidarity in the kneeling, players’ warmups had the phrase ‘Black Lives Matter’ printed on them and on the top of the court. Players were allowed to replace their last names on their jerseys with phrases that promote issues that they are concerned about with examples like “Freedom,” “Equality,” and “Education Reform.”
What was also encouraging was the NBA foregoing its policy to penalize players for kneeling during the national anthem with Adam Silver supporting their rights to peacefully protest.
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver: “I respect our teams’ unified act of peaceful protest for social justice and under these unique circumstances will not enforce our long-standing rule requiring standing during the playing of our national anthem.”
— Malika Andrews (@malika_andrews) July 30, 2020
Although these were powerful statements, there was also some basketball played with two games between the Jazz and Pelicans and the Lakers and Clippers. Both games were nail-biters with the Jazz and Lakers winning by two points each. With the powerful messages about racial equality and the great games, re-opening night for the NBA couldn’t have gone much better.