Adam Silver Comments on Potential National Anthem Protests in NBA
The 2016-2017 season will begin on Tuesday, October 25th, and with it comes an awareness campaign about social changes that need to take place in the United States.
I don’t know if the players are organizing anything. All I can say is what we have seen in multiple preseason games so far is our players standing for the national anthem. It would be my hope that they continue to stand for the national anthem. I think that is the appropriate thing to do.
Silver believes that the NBA is in a better situation to provide social change than any other organization.
There may be no organization in our society better positioned than the NBA and its players to try and have an impact on these difficult issues plaguing many of our cities. So aside from discussions around the anthem, it is my expectation that as we move beyond the collective bargaining [negotiating] process, that we and the players together will continue to address these issues and look for opportunities where we can really make a difference.
Some of the NBA’s biggest superstars came together at the ESPY’s and made a plea to fellow athletes for more engagement in promoting social change, as well as trying to stop racial violence. Silver stated:
Before there were issues around the anthem, I happened to be at the ESPYs this year when our four players stood up and made their point about the need for us to come together and work in our communities, and we have tried to build on their challenge … to see what impact that we can have, what they can have as individual athletes and how we can contribute to that as the league together with our teams. I think we are making progress.
Several NBA teams have locked their arms together during the national anthem in some preseason games, but only time can tell if anyone will refuse to stand up for the national anthem.