NBA to Discuss with Players Kneeling During Anthem amid Injustice Protests

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistJune 16, 2020

NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 12: An NBA logo is shown at the 5th Avenue NBA store on March 12, 2020 in New York City. The National Basketball Association said they would suspend all games after player Rudy Gobert of the Utah Jazz reportedly tested positive for the coronavirus. (Photo by Jeenah Moon/Getty Images)
Jeenah Moon/Getty Images

As the discussion about athletes kneeling during the national anthem continues, the NBA intends to go over the matter with its players. 

NBA spokesman Mike Bass told USA Today's Mark Medina“As has been the case of the last several years, we will work in partnership with the players on important issues like this."

According to the official NBA rulebook, "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 hasn't been an NBA player who protested during the national anthem since Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf during the 1995-96 season. He was suspended one game without pay by then-commissioner David Stern for violating a league rule.

Abdul-Rauf was later permitted to stand with his head down in a prayer position during the national anthem. 

In the past, stars like LeBron James, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Garnett wore "I Can't Breathe" T-shirts during warmups in 2014 as a tribute to Eric Garner, who was killed while in a chokehold by New York police officer Daniel Pantaleo.

The current discussion of kneeling during the anthem comes as protests against police brutality and systemic racism continue across the country in the aftermath of the killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and Rayshard Brooks.