The NBA memo comes following the protests that have taken place at various NFL football games surrounding the national anthem.
The memo, which was sent late Friday bydeputy commissioner Mark Tatum, reinforces the NBA’s rule that players and coaches stand for the national anthem, while also suggesting other ways in which they could address the protests occurring throughout the NFL and other sports.
As ESPN reports:
The memo states that individual teams ‘do not have the discretion to waive’ the rule that players, coaches and staff stand for the anthem. The league has the discretion to discipline players who violate the rule. It is not clear if the league would exercise it in the event of any protest. The league also does not want teams independently disciplining players, sources say, and has encouraged open dialogue within teams.
The memo also recommends ways teams can address the protests and political climate, suggesting that players and coaches can offer a pregame address or prepare a video tribute or public service announcement featuring “team leadership speaking about the issues they care about.”
The memo follows after commissioner Adam Silver said he expects players to stand for the national anthem.
The current protests surrounding the national anthem stems from former San Francisco 49ers athlete Colin Kaepernick, who took a knee during a game in San Diego last year. Although some players continue to kneel during the national anthem, others have opted to link arms as a showing of unity among teammates and coaches.
The protest has also expanded to the music, with artists such as Pharrell and Stevie Wonder kneeling during recent performances.
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