NFL players demonstrating during the national anthem have dominated the headlines early on into this football season, especially after President Trump called any protesting NFL player a "son of b***h," only prompting more players to to lock arms or kneel during the song.
Well, perhaps the NBA has taken notice, and that could help explain the league taking preventative measures to make sure players stand for the national anthem.
ESPN is reporting that the NBA sent a memo to its teams late Friday reminding players and coaches that they must stand for the national anthem.
So, what would happen to those who don't stand for the anthem? Well, ESPN obtained a copy of the league-wide memo issued by the NBA's deputy commissioner, Mark Tatum, and it explains that "the league office will determine how to deal with any possible instance in which a player, coach, or trainer does not stand for the anthem."
The memo reportedly adds that franchises "do not have the discretion to waive" the league's anthem rule, but that standing during the anthem "could include a message of unity and how the team is committed to bringing the community together this season."
Early into this 2017 NBA preseason — and two weeks until the 2017-18 regular season tips off — some teams interlocked their arms during the national anthem, but no players have knelt during the song.
Members of the Los Angeles Lakers and Minnesota Timberwolves locked arms, but stood during the national anthem before their preseason game Saturday night.
That night also saw the Denver Nuggets link arms while standing during the anthem, however, their opponents, defending NBA champion Golden State Warriors, did not interlock their arms.
Before the league-wide memo was sent late Friday, NBA commissioner Adam Silver said he expected players to stand during the national anthem.
The NBA mandating players to stand during the anthem is a bit surprising, considering it's generally regarded as a more progressive sports league than the NFL, encouraging and supporting its players and the social-conscious issues that they have raised in the past.
Do you think an NBA player will break the league's rule and kneel during the anthem?
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(Photo: Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
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