LIKE BUENA VISTA, Florida – Last week, as the NBA prepared to resume a historic season after a four-month hiatus caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, President Donald Trump warned on his Twitter account that he would kneel during a national anthem game. be a “sign of great disrespect” and add that the game will be “over for me!”
I look forward to live sports, but every time I witness a player kneeling during the National Anthem, a sign of great disrespect for our country and our flag, the game is over for me!
̵1; Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 21, 2020
On Thursday, the day of the opening of the restart, all four teams that played – Los Angeles Lakers, Los Angeles Clippers, Utah Jazz and New Orleans Pelicans, knelt in solidarity around the logo of “Black Lives Matter” on the court for a peaceful protest against racial injustice and police brutality.
Even the referees took part in the demonstration.
Trump has a strong, significant base that could follow his lead and potentially cause a drop in NBA ratings.
Pelican shooter JJ Redick, a white player who carries the “Say Your Names” social justice message on the back of his shirt, has long been an ally of his Black teammates and expressed his disdain for the injustices of people of color in America. this response to Trump’s warning.
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“First of all, I don’t think anyone in the NBA cares if President Trump watches basketball. I couldn’t care less, “Reddick told Yahoo Sports on Thursday night after a 106-104 loss to jazz. “As for its basis, I think that regardless of the specifics of Twitter for the NBA, each of its tweets is designed to separate, each tweet is designed to provoke, each tweet is intended to strengthen its basis. Yes [last week] it was no different. “
The NBA has been criticized by the president and selected officials and fans for allowing players to insert “politics” into an area designed for entertainment. Players argue that these issues are not politics; they are a matter of human rights – inequalities that have survived and that have remained unresolved for hundreds of years.
The tragic deaths of George Floyd, Breona Taylor and countless other colored people in the hands of law enforcement is what has strengthened the Black Living Matter movement to the point that people from all walks of life, across the country, have felt a sense of duty. to protest on behalf of the oppressed.
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver issued a statement shortly after the jazz and Pelicans protested peacefully: “I respect the single act of peaceful protest by our social justice teams, and in these unique circumstances we will not impose our long-standing rule of perseverance. our national anthem. “
As he knelt, LeBron James raised his right hand with a fist in greeting to the Black Force. It was reminiscent of Tommy Smith and John Carlos, two African-American stars who raised their fists at the medal ceremony during the 1968 Olympic anthem in Mexico City.
James is aware that he and his colleagues will be condemned for their voices and demonstrations.
“There will always be people who don’t agree with what you’re doing,” James said after 103-101’s victory over the Clippers. “No matter what you do in life, you will always make people try to separate everything you do. If you are passionate and faithful and authentic to any of your causes, it doesn’t matter. I couldn’t be less interested in the Nazis. I’ve been hearing it for too long. “
In the Disney bubble, teams are expected to continue this method of peaceful protests during the anthem. For some fans, this will exclude them, while others may listen openly, while others will wholeheartedly support the call for change.
The players, and especially Colin Copernicus, were stressed and stressed that kneeling was never for disrespect to the flag or the troops that serve this country. (Kneeling was even offered to Copernicus by the former Green Beret.) It is a matter of holding this great country accountable for the injustices inflicted on the black community.
James said he hoped Copernicus would be proud of the players’ demonstration, which recognized him as a pillar of the movement.
Whatever the reaction will come. Will the NBA be able to withstand the economic blow? We will all see.
“Look, we want people to enjoy the NBA and we love our fans, but I think there has to be some level of acceptance and recognition in what our league says, what our league does and what’s going on across the country,” Reddick told Yahoo Sports. “And people who don’t want to admit it may not have to be fans.”
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