The 2019-20 NBA campaign is set to restart on Thursday, and ahead of the resumption of the season, many people have been wondering just how players will handle the national anthem.
Well, now we know what will probably occur.
According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, there is a “growing consensus” that players plan to kneel during the national anthem in order to protest police brutality and racial inequality in America.
Charania added that he expects players to display their own social justice messages on their uniforms—messages not originally approved by the league—as their own way of supporting their causes.
Kneeling during the national anthem is certainly not new to professional sports, but an entire league partaking in the protest is definitely something we have not seen before.
Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick was the first athlete to kneel during the national anthem back in 2016. His decision to do so caused significant controversy and resulted in several other NFL players following suit. That ensuing offseason, Kaepernick opted out of his contract with the 49ers and was not signed in free agency.
Kaepernick remains unsigned to this day, and the general feeling is that the signal-caller has been blackballed by the league.
The act of kneeling during the national anthem gained further steam back in late May, when George Floyd was killed by a police officer in Minneapolis.
We have already seen MLB players kneel while the anthem is played. Now, we will apparently see the entire NBA — or at least all 22 teams that have been invited to the restart—doing the same thing.