At a Friday news conference, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver took a moment to weigh in on the controversy surrounding National Anthem protests in the NFL and if he expects it to carry over to the NBA.
According to an ARTICLE by FOX News, he had the following response when pressed on the issue:
“Many of our players have spoken out already about their plan to stand for the anthem. And I think they understand how divisive an issue it is in our society right now.”
When asked about if there are currently any league rules in regards to the National Anthem, here was Silver’s response (per FOX):
“We have a rule that requires our players to stand for the anthem. It’s been our rule for as long as I’ve been involved with the league, and my expectation is that our players will continue to stand for the anthem.”
Silver then discussed the importance of showing unity but would like players to express it by standing when the National Anthem is played. He then stated that the league will “deal with it” if there are any instances of players, coaches or trainers protest the America’s song by not standing.
This is a strikingly big difference compared to NFL commissioner Roger Goodell’s approach with how he handled mass amounts of NFL players and coaches who disgracefully protested the National Anthem in Week 3, and in prior weeks after Colin Kaepernick started the trend last season. There is currently an NFL policy that states players must stand on the sidelines and face the flag with their helmet off while the National Anthem plays, but policies (unlike rules) are enforced at the team level.
It’s tough to believe that NBA players will follow through with Commissioner Silver’s prediction that NBA players will not protest the anthem, since the Warriors were indecisive if they would visit the White House causing the President to disinvite them. And there have been recent disrespectful statements made by players such as Lebron James and Chris Paul directed at President Trump. Lebron James recently called President Trump a “Bum” in this tweet:
U bum @StephenCurry30 already said he ain't going! So therefore ain't no invite. Going to White House was a great honor until you showed up!
— LeBron James (@KingJames) September 23, 2017
Chris Paul made a threatening statement in this tweet:
And I doubt he's man enough to call any of those players a son of a bitch to their face…
— Chris Paul (@CP3) September 23, 2017
Time will tell what will actually happen, but after seeing the uproar as a result of what’s happening in the NFL, it’s probably in the NBA’s best interest to stay under the radar and stand for the anthem.