On a court that says in large black letters, “Black Lives Matter,” every player, coach, and referee in attendance at the Thursday evening Utah Jazz v New Orleans Pelicans NBA game took a knee during the national anthem.
Kneeling during the anthem was popularized by then-San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick in 2016, allegedly to protest racist police brutality.
The kneeling from the NBA players and staffers comes the day after a bombshell ESPN report outlined alleged abuse of children at NBA youth training camps in China.
“Every player, coach and ref takes a knee during the national anthem before the Pelicans-Jazz game,” Bleacher Report posted on Thursday night.
Every player, coach and ref takes a knee during the national anthem before the Pelicans-Jazz game pic.twitter.com/LZy1A6s8VM
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) July 30, 2020
Players also rocked warm-up shirts that promoted the radical, far-left Black Lives Matter movement.
In the “What We Believe” section of the official Black Lives Matter website, the organization calls for the “national defunding of police” and for the “disruption” of the nuclear family.
Though left-wing social activism is becoming central to the NBA here in the States, the league has troubling ties to China, a leader in human rights abuses.
According to the ESPN report published Wednesday, “American coaches at three NBA training academies in China told league officials their Chinese partners were physically abusing young players and failing to provide schooling, even though commissioner Adam Silver had said that education would be central to the program.”
“One of the academies that was opened by the NBA was in Xinjiang, where the Chinese Communist Party allegedly has millions of people locked up in concentration camps,” The Daily Wire noted. “ESPN says that it obtained an email that the NBA sent to employees that instructed employees not to tell ESPN that they were being instructed to answer questions about the league’s new China scandal.”
Bringing attention to the NBA’s troubling relationship with communist and human rights-violating China, Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey tweeted on October 4 an expression of solidarity with the protesters in Hong Kong who were pushing back against the communist regime. “Fight for Freedom. Stand with Hong Kong,” the post said.
Morey, though, was seemingly pressured into deleting the post, and the NBA initially publicly admonished him.
“Amid pressure, Morey quickly deleted the tweet, while the NBA issued a statement describing the post as having ‘deeply offended many of our friends and fans in China, which is regrettable,'” The Daily Wire outlined. “The NBA’s initial response sparked accusations that the league had ‘caved to Chinese censorship,’ prompting NBA Commissioner Adam Silver to attempt to ‘clarify’ the league’s stance, stating the league ‘will not put itself in a position of regulating what players, employees and team owners say or will not say on these issues.’ Morey, said Silver, has a right to ‘exercising his freedom of expression.'”