As the NBA Restart Tipped Off, The Fight For Social Justice Takes Front Stage

Colin Kaepernick first took a knee during the national anthem before a National Football League preseason game on Sept. 1, 2016.

Nearly 4 years later, after too many killings of African-Americans by police and with people all over the U.S. protesting racial inequality, and with the White House sending federal agents into our cities, Kaepernick’s cause finally reached the National Basketball Association on Thursday.

In the 4½ months that have passed since the last NBA game was played, the deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor have ignited a league-wide social justice initiative. And we seen it on full display on day one of the NBA restart.

In the first game of the NBA restart, every member of the Utah Jazz, New Orleans Pelicans, and the referees, locked arms and knelt during the national anthem. Many of them were visibly emotional after the moving moment.

What the players and the coaches and the refs did, by the way, remains against league rules. The NBA has a rule that permits all players must stand for the national anthem. But don’t expect Commissioner Adam Silver to punish anyone who broke the rule.

“I respect our teams’ unified act of peaceful protest for social justice, and, under these unique circumstances will not enforce our long-standing rule requiring standing during the playing of our national anthem.”- Adam Silver said.

How long will the demonstrations last? Who knows, but I expect it to last much longer than the weekend MLB dedicated. This probably is going to stretch beyond Thursday’s season reopening doubleheader, and likely well after. The NBA is all in on backing their players, and fighting for social justice.

Take a look around the arena. All the courts have “Black Lives Matter,” painted on the court. Players on every team are dawning jerseys with messages replacing their names. And pre game warm ups include black lives matter and say her name prints. The NBA is in this for the long haul.

“I think that if you talk to some of the younger generation, I think this is here to stay,” Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry said.

After the game Donovan Mitchell tweeted out a sentiment that will be repeated throughout the bubble.

The second game on the slate was the Lakers vs Clippers. This game, just like the previous game, featured a demonstration of unity. The Lakers and Clippers, along with referees united in kneeling during the national anthem. Some players linked arms, others raised a fist, but all felt the impact of the moment.

Prior to the game Clippers SF Paul George spoke on what to expect going forward.

“You’ll see unity, you’ll see the league stand as one. You’ll get a glimpse of that shortly, of what our message will be going forward.”-George



After the Lakers victory LeBron spoke about the NBA restart and dedication to change.

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