NBA Tells Players to Stand for National Anthem

The NBA has sent out a memo to teams reminding them that players must stand for the national anthem, a guideline that comes amid heated debate over anthem protests in the NFL. In the memo sent out Friday, Deputy Commissioner Mark Tatum urges teams to use game openings to “demonstrate your commitment to the NBA’s core values of equality, diversity, inclusion and serve as a unifying force in the community.” While he said the league supports the right of players to express their views on important social issues, he made clear that the national anthem before games is not the time to do it. “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),” the memo says. The recommendations come after Commissioner Adam Silver said earlier this week he expects players to honor the national anthem by standing. The issue has been the subject of debate since President Trump last week lashed out at NFL players who’ve been kneeling during the anthem to protest racism and police brutality.