6:20 PM PT – Lebron James and all of his Lakers teammates participated in the kneeling demonstration during the anthem before interrupting against the LA Clippers.
The Clippers also got a knee … along with all the coaches, staff and referees working the game.
4:44 PM PT – NBA Committee Adam Silver is addressing the decision of both teams to kneel before the match, saying they will not face punishment for the gesture.
“I respect the unified act of peaceful protest of our social justice teams and in these unique circumstances will not enforce our long rule, which requires perseverance when interpreting our national anthem.”
Powerful moment from the resumption of the NBA – where every single player in the New Orleans Pelicans and Utah Jazz knelt in solidarity during the national anthem.
It was a statement Thursday night at the first official NBA resumption match – which was introduced in the bubble environment at Walt Disney World in Orlando.
It seems that every coach and referee in the building also got a knee next to the stars as well Rudy Gobert, Lonzo Ball, Zion Williamson and Donovan Mitchell.
All the players were wearing “Black Lives Matter” T-shirts – and were standing behind BLM art on the center court.
The anthem was performed by the musician Jon Batiste – an instrumental interpretation containing heavy guitar and piano elements.
The players were side by side during the anthem – some players raised their fists.
After the anthem, Shaquille O’Neal praised everyone involved – saying the kneeling was “beautifully done in unity – beautiful to look at”.
He added, “We have to keep fighting, we have to keep moving … now we have to go to the polls.”
Charles Barkley also weighed in … saying, “If people do not kneel, they are not a bad person. I want to make it clear.”
Barkley added that if a person chooses not to kneel, “they should not be destroyed.”
Of course, the kneeling movement started from Colin Kaepernick who says the purpose of the demonstration is to focus on police brutality and social injustice.
The NBA allowed players to replace their names on the back of their jerseys with social justice messages.
The Zion T-shirt says “Peace.” Lonzo Ball says: “Equality”. Brandon Ingramsays “Freedom.” Mike Conleysays “I am human”.
Originally published – 3:55 PM PT