NBA participant protests: Lakers, Clippers, Jazz, Pelicans kneel for anthem, put on customized social justice apparel

As anticipated, the primary NBA video games in additional than 4 months featured pregame demonstrations from gamers in assist of a nationwide protest motion in opposition to the extreme use of police power in opposition to Black folks.

Each member of the Lakers, Clippers, Jazz and Pelicans on Thursday night knelt for the nationwide anthem, following the principle template for athlete protests within the U.S. that started within the NFL with Colin Kaepernick in 2016.

Gamers on every group additionally donned messages on their jerseys supporting equality and societal enhancements. Phrases included “Schooling Reform,” “Say Their Names” and “Black Lives Matter.” Utah’s Donovan Mitchell additionally wore “Black Lives Matter” sneakers.

MORE: LeBron James decides not to put message on jersey

Protests within the U.S. started in response to the Might 25 killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police however have continued as a part of a broader motion in opposition to systemic racism.

Athletes have spoken up greater than ever in latest reminiscence, utilizing their platforms to change into activists. The NBA on Thursday joined MLB, NASCAR and System 1 as sports activities to handle the Black Lives Matter motion earlier than a stay occasion this yr.

NBA commissioner Adam Silver has usually been supportive of gamers taking stances on social justice points, not less than throughout this tumultuous time.

MORE: Silver hinted he’d allow kneeling despite it being against NBA rules

Lakers vs. Clippers and Jazz vs. Pelicans marked the primary of two video games Thursday within the Orlando bubble to mark the NBA’s return to motion after the season was suspended March 11 due to the coronavirus pandemic.