NBA players, coaches and referees knelt during the national anthem to silently protest systemic racism ahead of regular season games that take place during the league’s restart phase, although there have been a few exceptions.
One of them is San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich, who showed up during the anthem ahead of his team’s 129-120 victory over the Sacramento Kings on Friday.
Popovich declined to reveal why he was standing after the game, according to ESPN’s Ohm Youngmisuk.
“I prefer to keep this to myself. Everyone has to make a personal decision. The league has been great about it. Everyone has the freedom to react as they see fit. For all the reasons I have, I reacted the way I wanted. to, ”he said.
Popovich has consistently been one of the loudest professional sports figures in support of social justice, even before the latest move. Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated called Popovich the “most aroused coach” in the NBA in a November 2016 article, and he regularly supports Black Lives Matter.
He’s also not afraid to call out local or national politicians, with Popovich recently commenting on Texas Governor Greg Abbott and Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic:
Tom Petrini @RealTomPetrini
“We’ve been on the map in Texas, nobody knows what’s going on. We have a lieutenant governor who has decided that he doesn’t want to listen to Fauci and these people anymore ”Gregg Popovich shared some thoughts on state and federal leadership on the coronavirus https://t.co/XiMQcunE6y
“We have a lieutenant governor who decided he didn’t want to listen to Fauci and these people anymore. It makes a lot of sense. How safe can this be? The message is ridiculous.
“The governor is going back and forth depending on whether he has to satisfy Trump or listen to the numbers – politics shows it may be better to do it because the virus has done it. But no global policy, no principle. It’s all about politics. It’s all about what’s good for them. And “them” mostly means Trump. Because they are all cowards and they are all afraid. ”
Spurs assistant coach Becky Hammon also portrayed the anthem, for Evan Closky or KENS 5.
Earlier today, Magic forward Jonathan Isaac represented the national anthem. He also chose not to wear the Black Lives Matter t-shirt that all players donned during pre-game warm-ups and the anthem.
He explained why to Bleacher Report’s Taylor Rooks after his team’s 128-118 win over the Brooklyn Nets:
Taylor Rooks @TaylorRooks
I asked Jonathan Isaac two questions: You didn’t kneel during the hymn, but you didn’t wear a black shirt either. Do you think black lives matter Can you explain what religion has to do with kneeling down for the anthem to protest racism and police brutality? https://t.co/me61FleWPY
Sixteen of the 22 NBA teams at Disney World for the league restart have played their first games on the league campus, and six more have yet to dress.
Those six players will hit hardwood on Saturday, starting with the Miami Heat and Denver Nuggets at 1 p.m. ET.