The NBA announced plans to restart the 2019-20 season in late July in Orlando, Florida earlier this month.
Over the past few weeks, NBA commissioner Adam Silver has been busy answering questions about the decision to restart and what the new season will entail. On Tuesday afternoon, he expanded on the NBA’s restart.
During a call with reporters, Silver was asked about players kneeling during the national anthem. The NBA has a rule against any action other than standing at attention during the anthem.
However, Silver said he understand the role of protest and that players will likely take that course of action when the league restarts.
“Again, I’m not comfortable with the word ‘allow,'” Silver said. “We’ve had a rule on our books that goes back to the early 80’s, that proceeds even David Stern’s tenure as commissioner. That calls for players to stand in a line at attention during the national anthem. I also understand the role of protest, and I think we’ll deal with that situations when it presents itself.”
Silver on whether players will be allowed to kneel during anthem: "I’m not comfortable with the word 'allow.'… I think that we’ll deal with that situation when it presents itself." (NBA players are not allowed to kneel during the anthem.) pic.twitter.com/2C86B79gjO
— Sopan Deb (@SopanDeb) June 30, 2020
Earlier this week, ESPN insiders Ramona Shelburne and Zach Lowe reported the league is planning on painting “Black Lives Matter” on the courts in Orlando.
The league could also reportedly allow players to wear social justice messages on their jerseys.
The NBA’s restart officially kicks off on July 30 with two games. Utah faces off against New Orleans, while the Los Angeles Lakers square off against the Clippers.