And once again we see no amount of money or fame can buy you class.
While the NBA has made it abundantly clear that players kneeling or displaying any other forms of activism during the signing of our national anthem will be followed by swift disciplined, sadly it seems that policy does not apply to those invited to sing “The Star-Spangled Banner” prior to the games.
Friday night, Roc Nation artist, Justine Skye, (yeah never heard of her either), took a knee after singing the national anthem at the Brooklyn Nets home opener at The Barclays Center. Skye actually knelt while delivering the final note of the anthem. To which, as seen below, Skye was greeted by what sounded like a mix of both cheers and boos from the attending crowd.
So here is my question. Why doesn’t the NBA stipulate in whatever contract these so-called artists have to sign in order to sing the national anthem that they, in fact, need to stand for the duration of the time they are in the arena? And that if they don’t then they will be slapped with a huge fine or lawsuit? The NBA has done an awesome job at controlling its spoiled overpaid players, but they can’t control the temporary “hired help?” Really?
The NBA actually has a rule against kneeling for the national anthem
Will the league enforce it if a player tests the rule? It did two decades ago, but it’s a different time now.
Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images
Dozens of NFL players knelt during the national anthem last Sunday, continuing Colin Kaepernick’s protest against racial injustice.
If you’re wondering if we might see a similar form of expression in the NBA, you might be surprised that there’s actually a rule against it.
Officially, the rule is this:
2) Players, coaches, and trainers are to stand and line up in a dignified posture along the sidelines or on the foul line during the playing of the National Anthem.
You can see it in the league’s official rulebook under the “Player/Team Conduct and Dress” section, below a rule requiring players to be “uniformly dressed” and above one requiring coaches to wear a sports coat.
The NBA did not reply to our request for comment.
However, on Friday, the NBA issued a memo to teams reminding them of the rule that requires players and coaches to stand for the national anthem.
Adam Silver confirmed to reporters that the league expects players to stand for the national anthem, citing the rule. He did not answer whether players would be penalized if the rule was broken.
Asked if a player will be penalized if he doesn’t stand for the anthem, Adam Silver says such a situation would be dealt with if it arises.
NBA Players Association Executive Director Michele Roberts also suggested the players would address a kneeling situation with the league only should it happen.
“I haven’t discussed it with Adam because I haven’t needed to,” Roberts told Yahoo! Sports’ Chris Mannix. “I was not the executive director when the [Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf situation] happened, but I’m aware of the rule and the players are aware of the rule. We’ll see. This is a different commissioner. This is a different time.
“I disagree with the view that taking a knee is disrespectful,” Roberts continued. “But there is a rule. I don’t know that we’ll see because I don’t know if we’ll have a player do that. We’ve not yet had a player do that. But if it fact and if in fact the league responds by deciding to impose some penalty, then we will, as we’ve done for every player that wants to challenge the discipline, will support and defend that player.”
This weekend, we saw the NBA become embroiled in the national debate.
After Stephen Curry said he would not visit the White House to celebrate the team’s championship, President Donald Trump tweeted that he was disinvited. LeBron James then called Trump a “bum,” many NBA players expressed support for Curry, and the Warriors reacted in their own ways on Saturday.
On Saturday, Oakland Athletics rookie catcher Bruce Maxwell became the first MLB player to kneel during the anthem. (It’s worth repeating that he was not protesting the anthem itself.) We’ve seen protests from WNBA players and teams, most recently the L.A. Sparks before Game 1 of the WNBA Finals. We’ve seen protests from stars on the U.S. women’s national soccer team and at many collegiate and amateur sporting leagues.
But with the NBA season only a month away, there may be players who feel they should join the protest, too.
If any players do, it won’t be the first time the NBA’s national anthem rule has been tested.
The NBA had an anthem “controversy” two decades ago
Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf was a wiry 6’1 point guard with a lightning-quick jump shot. He would be the league’s all-time leading free-throw shooter by percentage, except he’s 39 attempts short of officially qualifying. During the 1995-96 season with the Denver Nuggets, he chose to sit or remain in the locker room during the national anthem.
No one noticed until a local reporter mentioned it in March. Once he did, many were outraged.
NBA commissioner David Stern suspended Abdul-Rauf for one game and negotiated a compromise: Abdul-Rauf would stand for the anthem, but he could do so with his eyes closed and head bowed in prayer. Abdul-Rauf was a devout Muslim and his religion was a major reason why he chose to originally begin his silent protest, so he complied with Stern’s request.
But Abdul-Rauf was traded to the Kings at the end of the season, lost sponsorships, and then lost his starting spot on his new team. When his contract expired in 1998, Abdul-Rauf was only 29, but no team showed interest in signing him. He was essentially blacklisted from the league, playing only 41 games three seasons later before officially retiring.
In 2017, things have changed.
The league has many outspoken advocates for social justice and has worked with players to help amplify those voices. In early September, Silver and Roberts co-signed a letter to players encouraging them to express their views on social issues affecting their communities.
But no one knows exactly how the NBA would respond if one of its players took his message to the court itself. We can’t know how the league will treat one of its players kneeling during the anthem until it happens.
Technically, kneeling during the anthem is not allowed by the NBA. We’ll see if the league enforces the rule should the situation arise, as it did two decades ago.
Although we all know very well how NBA players feel about the nation that has made them filthy rich, at least they won’t be disrespecting our flag. Makes you really stop and wonder why the NFL refuses to take a step like this.
Liberals have been after the NFL for years, to the point that they have even tried to ban it because of concussions. But we all know their real hate against football was that they considered it to be “Too Masculine,” and that doesn’t fit their agenda. So they finally found a way to kill it, with the help of the players who are too stupid to figure out they are killing off their own livelihood.
Notice how all that talk of concessions has now disappeared? Convenient, don’t you think?
Please share if you want the NBA to vet who they get to sing the national anthem more thoroughly….
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