The 2020 NBA Finals between the Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat is underway. Miami has an early lead over Los Angeles midway through the first quarter in Game 1.
There was an emotional national anthem before Game 1, with all but one of the Heat and Lakers players kneeling for it.
The lone player who stood for the national anthem was Miami Heat forward Meyers Leonard. The Heat big man had a brother serve in the military and he’s previously explained his decision to stand.
Only one of the Refs and Meyers Leonard standing up during anthem. pic.twitter.com/paYkEmU8KG
— Consigliere (@consigliere_22) October 1, 2020
“Some of the conversations I’ve had over the past three days, quite literally, have been the most difficult,” Leonard told The Associated Press earlier in the NBA Bubble. “I am with the Black Lives Matter movement and I love and support the military and my brother and the people who have fought to defend our rights in this country.”
Leonard, 28, is incredibly close with his brother, Bailey, who joined the Marines after 9/11.
.@MeyersLeonard's older brother, Bailey, joined the Marines in response to 9/11.
The two brothers shared an emotional moment tonight on Inside the NBA. pic.twitter.com/ayMICj2UuX
— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) September 12, 2020
“I am a compassionate human being and I truly love all people,” Leonard previously said. “I can’t fully comprehend how our world, literally and figuratively, has turned into Black and white. There’s a line in the sand, so to speak: ‘If you’re not kneeling, you’re not with us.’ And that’s not true.
“I will continue to use my platform, my voice and my actions to show how much I care about the African American culture and for everyone,” he added. “I live my life to serve and impact others in a positive way.”
Game 1 of the NBA Finals is underway on ABC.