NBA player protests: Lakers, Clippers, Jazz, Pelicans kneel for anthem, wear custom social justice attire

As envisioned, the first NBA online games in far more than four months showcased pregame demonstrations from gamers in assist of a nationwide protest motion from the extreme use of law enforcement power from Black men and women.

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

Players on each individual staff also donned messages on their jerseys supporting equality and societal enhancements. Phrases involved “Training Reform,” “Say Their Names” and “Black Life Subject.” Utah’s Donovan Mitchell also wore “Black Life Subject” footwear.

More: LeBron James decides not to set information on jersey

Protests in the U.S. began in reaction to the Might 25 killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis law enforcement but have continued as part of a broader motion from systemic racism.

Athletes have spoken up far more than ever in current memory, utilizing their platforms to develop into activists. The NBA on Thursday joined MLB, NASCAR and Formulation 1 as sports activities to deal with the Black Life Subject motion ahead of a dwell function this 12 months.

NBA commissioner Adam Silver has commonly been supportive of gamers getting stances on social justice challenges, at least in the course of this tumultuous time.

More: Silver hinted he’d permit kneeling despite it being from NBA regulations

Lakers vs. Clippers and Jazz vs. Pelicans marked the first of two online games Thursday in the Orlando bubble to mark the NBA’s return to action after the period was suspended March 11 due to the fact of the coronavirus pandemic.