NBA players won’t be sanctioned for kneeling

Published July 31, 2020, 3:58 PM

by Agence France-Presse

Commissioner Adam Silver says he respects the teams’ unified act
NBA bubble kneel
Members of the New Orleans Pelicans and Utah Jazz kneel before a Black Lives Matter logo before the start of their game at HP Field House at ESPN Wide World Of Sports Complex on July 30, 2020 in Reunion, Florida. (Ashley Landis-Pool / Getty Images / AFP)

NBA commissioner Adam Silver said Thursday players who kneel during the US national anthem will not be punished under longstanding league rules.

In a brief statement issued after New Orleans Pelicans and Utah Jazz players took a knee in unison ahead of the NBA’s restart in Orlando, Silver confirmed players would not be sanctioned.

The NBA has a several-decades-old rule requiring players to stand during the pre-game anthem rituals.

But Silver said the rule would be waived given the “unique” nature of the ongoing calls for social justice which erupted after the death of unarmed black man George Floyd in Minneapolis on May 25.

“I respect our teams’ unified act of peaceful protest for social justice and under these unique circumstances will not enforce our long-standing rule requiring standing during the playing of our national anthem,” Silver said in a statement.