The NBA’s return to play Thursday was filled with social justice messages, together with a unified show of kneeling by Jazz and Pelicans personnel in the course of the nationwide anthem previous to Sport 1. Charles Barkley would have been OK with somebody standing.
“The nationwide anthem means various things to completely different individuals,” Barkley stated on TNT’s “NBA Tip-Off” present. “I am glad these guys are all unified, but when individuals do not kneel, they are not a nasty particular person. I wish to make that completely clear.” Barkley added that nobody needs to be “vilified” for standing.
ESPN NBA analyst Jay Williams supported Barkley’s stance on standing:
I firmly stand by what Charles Barkley simply stated.. if you happen to select to not kneel for the nationwide anthem, you’re NOT a nasty particular person and it is best to NOT get vilified.
— Jay Williams (@RealJayWilliams) July 30, 2020
Kneeling for the anthem is towards NBA guidelines, however commissioner Adam Silver introduced Thursday that the rule wouldn’t be enforced, citing “distinctive circumstances.” Amongst these circumstances: Individuals throughout the nation have held protests over the previous two months after George Floyd died on the knee of a police officer in Minneapolis. NBA gamers, as a part of their return to the court docket, are carrying such messages as “Black Lives Matter” and “Say Their Names” on the backs of their jerseys.
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And whereas kneeling and uniform letters are meant to maintain problems with race within the highlight, Barkley and fellow TNT panelist Shaquille O’Neal stated Thursday that motion is required, too, comparable to speaking with lawmakers and different individuals in energy.