The NBA restart is officially on. Before tonight’s opening game between the New Orleans Pelicans and Utah Jazz, everybody on the court took a knee for the national anthem.
The two teams had made it known they intended to kneel as units for the anthem before the first regular season game in the Orlando bubble. But when the moment came, it wasn’t just players who took part.
The coaching staffs for both teams also kneeled, with head coaches Quin Snyder and Alvin Gentry locking arms along with the players. The referees and game officials kneeled as well.
You can see full video and pictures of the pregame demonstration below. Players from both teams also wore “Black Lives Matter” t-shirts as warmups.
— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) July 30, 2020
— Tom Haberstroh (@tomhaberstroh) July 30, 2020
— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) July 30, 2020
Since the NBA reconvened in Florida this summer, players from around the league have made it clear they want to keep the focus on racial and social justice even once the games started.
They’ve held true to that goal in media sessions and on social media over the last few weeks.
Tonight’s silent protest was another example of the players showing their commitment on this matter.