Aaron Gordon on Protest Critics: We Frown Upon Kneeling on People's Necks

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistJuly 24, 2020

Orlando Magic forward Aaron Gordon (00) during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the San Antonio Spurs in San Antonio, Saturday, Feb. 29, 2020. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
Eric Gay/Associated Press

Orlando Magic forward Aaron Gordon offered a message to anyone who might criticize the team if they decide to protest during the national anthem.  

Speaking to reporters on Friday, Gordon said that while some people "frown upon kneeling" during the national anthem before games, "we frown upon kneeling on other people's necks."

Tania Ganguli @taniaganguli

Aaron Gordon said the team will talk about kneeling before the national anthem and see if that is the gesture that will speak the loudest. I asked what message he hoped it would convey, if they did that. He said this: https://t.co/KgQcWU6Gea

The comment is clearly a reference to George Floyd, who was killed on May 25 after then-Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin when Chauvin pressed his knee into Floyd's neck for nearly nine minutes. 

Gordon did note that the Magic haven't decided if they will kneel during the national anthem when games resume next week, but they will meet at some point to see if that's something they would like to do. 

Brad Turner of the Los Angeles Times reported on Friday that multiple teams have decided to take a knee during the national anthem before the first two games of the restart on July 30. 

Even though the NBA has an official rule that requires players and staffers to stand when the national anthem is played, Sam Amick of The Athletic reported no one will face discipline if they protest "peacefully and respectfully."

The New Orleans Pelicans and Utah Jazz will play in the first game of the season restart, followed by the Los Angeles Clippers and Los Angeles Lakers next Thursday. 

Gordon and the Magic will play their first game on July 31 against the Brooklyn Nets