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NBA resumes: Jazz and Pelicans players get a knee before the league reopens



Moments before the tipoff Thursday night, the players, who were joined by coaches and game officials, all got a knee.

The players also wore black “Black Lives Matter” T-shirts both during the warm-up and the National Anthem. Some contain messages like, “Equality”, “I am human”, “Ally” and “Say her name”, sending a clear message in support of the social justice movement.

The coaches, referees and members of the New Orleans Pelicans and Utah Jazz kneel together around the Black Lives Matter court logo during the national anthem before the start of the NBA basketball game Thursday at Lake Buena Vista, Fla.

The NBA is not the first league to resume their season with players on their knees in support of the move.

The WNBA, when the championship started its season last week, dedicated the season to Breonna Taylor and the Say Her Name campaign. Outside of basketball, many MLB players also got a knee after their season resumed earlier this month.

All of these demonstrations come amid unrest in the US over the deaths of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and George Floyd, and reflect that of Colin Kaepernick during the 2016-17 NFL season.

The deaths have sparked ongoing protests across the country, and resulted in calls for racial equality, social justice and police reform in the US, among other demands.

The NBA returned after a 20-week hiatus in a so-called bubble, in Orlando, Florida.

The league closed on March 11 when – just moments before the Utah Jazz would take the Thunder title in Oklahoma City – it was learned that jazz center Rudy Gobert had tested positive for Covid-19.

Thursday night when the game started to be convenient, then, that Gobert scored the first basket on a team.


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