In a recently issued memo, the NBA has reiterated to ALL of their players and coaches, that they are contractually required to stand during the singing of the national anthem. The league’s commissioner, Adam Silver, stated during a press conference that not only is it a league rule but because of what it means to live in a divided America.
Silver said that, “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.” He said the playing of the national anthem is a time for respect and reflection, and pointed to the league’s diversity in that almost 25 percent of the players are not American.
Silver expects the league’s players to continue showing unity during the anthem and that they will do so while standing. He said, “It’s been a rule as long as I’ve been involved with the league, and my expectation is that our players will continue to stand for the anthem.”
When asked by a reporter what will be the consequences if a player doesn’t stand for the anthem, Silver said, “If that were to happen, we’ll deal with it when it happens.”
Silver feels that NBA players have other ways of letting their voices be heard, such as by continuing their community service efforts or through the media. He said, “I’m hoping once again that this league can play a constructive role there.”