On Wednesday, NBA commissioner Adam Silver and NBPA president Michelle Roberts penned a letter to players seeking their voices and opinions as it pertains to matters of how the NBA as a whole can better serve communities around the country. The letter cites, “…using our game to bring people together and build bonds of trust in our communities; and supporting mentoring and career development programs that help bring economic opportunity to young people of color.”
The players went on the forefront earlier this summer, when the annual ESPYS opened with a message from LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, Dwyane Wade and Chris Paul about the violence occurring in their communities and what could be done to end it.
Since then, the country has seen numerous NFL players protest during the playing of the national anthem, with San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick leading the charge. Other athletes have followed, such as Megan Rapinoe of the United States Women’s National Soccer Team, and the entire Indiana Fever team took a knee during the anthem before their playoff game on Wednesday night.
Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr had some strong words on the topic Wednesday:
Warriors coach Steve Kerr came strong, and nuanced, on the Kaepernick issue and the real message behind the non-violent protests pic.twitter.com/9lxuP93NEQ
— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) September 21, 2016
Ahead of the upcoming 2016-17 season, the NBA and NBPA have met to address possible protests, per Brian Windhorst of ESPN. While it is currently against NBA rules to not stand for the anthem, the league has the advantage of time on its side to still amend or ratify any new specifications to the rule with the season over a month away.