San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick has raised awareness and generated discussion about police violence and racial injustice in the United States by kneeling through the national anthem prior to NFL games, and the NBA is preparing for similar situations as its season approaches.
Brian Windhorst of ESPN.com reported on Wednesday the league and the National Basketball Players Association “met this week and agreed to work together to address possible protests during national anthems.”
Windhorst added, “It’s against NBA rules to not stand for [the] anthem, but [the] league has supported social commentary.”
Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated shared a letter showing that the NBA and NBPA have worked together regarding the situation:
The letter reached out for ideas and encouraged action, referencing the time when LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, Dwyane Wade and Chris Paul took the stage at the ESPYs to talk about the violence impacting the United States.
ABC News shared some of their speech on its YouTube page:
James previously raised public awareness when he and teammate Kyrie Irving, along with other athletes, wore shirts in support of Eric Garner after he died. A New York grand jury did not indict the police officer involved in his death.
Chris Haynes of ESPN.com and Howard Beck of Bleacher Report shared images depicting the two Cleveland Cavaliers:
Elsewhere, back-to-back MVP Stephen Curry offered his support for Kaepernick. The 49ers quarterback told NFL.com's Steve Wyche in August he was “not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color.”
The protest spread to the WNBA on Wednesday, when the members of the Indiana Fever kneeled during the national anthem before their postseason game against the Phoenix Mercury.
Mark McClune of CBS 5 in Phoenix passed along a photo of the team:
The Fever’s demonstration came after police officers shot and killed black men Terence Crutcher in Oklahoma and Keith Lamont Scott in North Carolina within the past week, per Sports Illustrated.
Chicago Bulls point guard Rajon Rondo used a different image in his response to the situation:
If Wednesday’s letter was any indication, this will not be the last time NBA players speak out on some of the prevailing injustice in the United States.