Adam Silver responds to NBA players kneeling during the anthem before the first game in Disney’s bubble


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Its discussion has been going on for months, necessitating the death of George Floyd at the hands of the Minneapolis police and the subsequent protests. On Thursday, it became a reality: the New Orleans Pelicans and Utah Jazz, the two first teams to take to the floor with an NBA season that took a knee during the national anthem as a silent protest against racial inequality in this country. He was joined by his coaches and sports officials.

The players were wearing shirts that read Black Lives Matter as a pre-recorded anthem by John Batiste on a video screen in Orlando. The lyrics were not included in the song. The coaches put social justice messages on their polos.

The Lakers and Clippers followed suit in their games.

The Pelicans issued a statement about their commitment to social justice.

“The New Orleans Pelicans stand with the ideals of freedom of speech and the right to protest peacefully. Together with the Utah Jazz, our organization joins the NBA in support of our players and coaches. Relative to social justice and racial equality To promote meaningful change. ” The New Orleans Pelicans have partnered with our players, staff, and coaches to form a social justice leadership coalition committed to taking the discussion, listening and learning forward and taking action to bring positive change to our community and our country . “

Jazz released a similar Statement Focused on their organizational confidence in allowing players to express themselves.

“Utah Jazz is committed to advancing social justice and standing in support of players, coaches and staff as they exercise their First Amendment rights, and to express themselves in peace with their voices, their experiences, and their own Use platforms. We are a values-based organization and believe in the fundamentals of justice, equality, fairness and economic empowerment. Our organization strives to be a force in our communities, and we hope that our This time in history, we can be the catalyst for positive change in a country. Love. “

No player vied for Anthem in 2017 when the incident was at its peak in the NFL. The NBA technically has a rule on its books that prohibits players from kneeling for the national anthem. Commissioner Adam Silver confirmed that he would not enforce this rule, however, due to the unique circumstances surrounding the game and the moment in history. “I respect the unified act of peaceful protest for the social justice of our teams and will not require our long-lasting rule while playing our national anthem under these unique circumstances,” Silver saidAccording to Yahoo Sports Chris Haines.

Players around the league have taken up the cause of the fight for social justice in the United States. The NBA has taken steps to help them do so, such as allowing them to wear approved social justice messages on the back of their jerseys. But the fact is, there were players who were not comfortable with the idea of ​​returning to the court in light of the movement that was sweeping the nation. Playing, some of them argued, would distract from the movement. Even after the union agreed to restart the season, many of those players are fighting for greater diversity at the highest levels of leadership in basketball.

Those efforts are still in their early stages, but many players who eventually decided to end the season in Orlando did so with the idea that the platform offers basketball that would allow them to spread awareness of these issues . The prominence of the words “Black Lives Matter” on the court and other warm-up shirts helps in those efforts. Then kneels. Thursday’s action will only be the beginning as players try to make the most of the stage in Orlando.

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