Before Friday night’s preseason game between the Los Angeles Lakers and Denver Nuggets, members from both teams stood together and linked arms during the national anthem at Staples Center, via Harrison Wind of BSN Denver:
A number of NBA teams have already linked arms during the national anthem during preseason games, showing solidarity in protest of racial injustices and police brutality.
Since preseason began less than one week ago, the Toronto Raptors, New York Knicks, Houston Rockets, Boston Celtics, Washington Wizards and Los Angeles Kings have also performed the same pregame display, according to Cindy Boren of the Washington Post.
It was the NFL’s Seattle Seahawks that began this form of protest, as wide receiver Doug Baldwin explained that this was a way to stand for change while not showing any form of disrespect to the men and women of the United States armed forces:
This provided a variation from the kneeling of San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who began this national conversation during the NFL’s preseason.
Since then, he’s been joined by numerous athletes ranging from fellow NFL players to women’s soccer stars.
However, the NBA does not permit players to kneel or sit during the national anthem.
According to the 2015-16 league rule book: “Players, coaches and trainers are to stand and line up in a dignified posture along the sidelines or on the foul line during the playing of the national anthem.”
There have been consequences for those who haven’t. In 1996, Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf, who at the time played for the Denver Nuggets, was suspended for sitting during the national anthem by then-commissioner David Stern, although, it only lasted one day when he agreed to stand and silently pray, per Boren.
Twenty years later, the anthem has come back into the forefront of the public eye ten-fold as NBA stars are joining their athletic peers by using their prominence in order to generate a conversation on how to improve social standings in the United States.
Source: Extra Juice