As the NFL #TakeAKnee controversy continues to escalate, the NBA is preparing for basketball season by reminding players that, per their rule book, they must stand for the national anthem.
In a press conference, Deputy Commissioner Mark Tatum said that while the league "supports the right of players to express their views on important social issues," the national anthem is not the time to do so. Tatum said:
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. (Teams do not have the discretion to waive this rule).
Commissioner Adam Silver said earlier this week that he "expects players to honor the national anthem by standing." Tatum urged teams to use the national anthem as an opportunity to:
...demonstrate your commitment to the NBA’s core values of equality, diversity, inclusion and serve as a unifying force in the community.
Just because a memo is on letterhead doesn't make what's typed legal. It's unconstitutional to MAKE anyone stand during Anthem!— SophiaL (@SophiaLamar1) September 30, 2017
Let it not escape your notice that the NBA's Stand Or Be Sanctioned memo comes immediately after all the franchise owners met.— Tom Ziller (@teamziller) September 30, 2017