As NFL allows players to kneel, NBA tells players they must stand

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The NFL and the NBA have different approaches to the national anthem.

As the NFL is embroiled in controversy over players kneeling during the anthem, the league has steadfastly insisted that players have the right not to stand and will not be disciplined if they choose to exercise that right.

The NBA, meanwhile, has reiterated that players must stand for the anthem. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said the league’s longstanding rule requiring players to stand for the anthem isn’t going anywhere.

“On the anthem specifically, we have a rule that requires our players to stand for the anthem. It’s been a rule as long as I’ve been involved with the league, and my expectation is that our players will continue to stand for the anthem,” Silver said.

What’s unclear is what the NBA would do if a player chooses to violate that rule. In 1996 the NBA suspended Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf for refusing to stand for the anthem. Abdul-Rauf quickly relented and stood for the anthem while saying a silent prayer. After President Trump’s comments kicked off the latest anthem controversy last week, however, two of the NBA’s biggest stars, Steph Curry and LeBron James, offered comments critical of Trump. If those two stars were to kneel in protest, it’s highly unlikely that Silver would suspend them.

So far, the NBA has managed to avoid controversy. All it takes is one player to defy Silver’s orders, and the controversy will spread to basketball.

51 responses to “As NFL allows players to kneel, NBA tells players they must stand

  1. Why the NBA popularity is skyrocketing, while the NFL popularity is plummenting.

    The NBA recognizes that without the fans, they are nothing. The NFL arrogance, lack of patriotism, and disrespect for fans is sickening

  2. What’s interesting is the NFL does have an anthem policy. Players are to stand, face the flag and not talk. Goodell and lame owners choose to let the inmates run the asylum. Essentially, allowing the player to spit in the face of their customers. Goodbye NFL and good riddance.

  3. “All it takes is one player to defy Silver’s orders, and the controversy will spread to basketball.”

    In other words, all it takes is one player to not think it through and willingly kill the goose that lays the golden eggs. Silver absolutely would have to suspend Steph Curry or LeBron James, there’s too much at $take not to.

  4. State and Federal employees can not express political views while on the job. The NBA has taken a similar stance. Now its your turn NFL. Show some courage; don’t let a few soil the your uniform or the game.

  5. Silver can control this. If Curry or LeBron kneels then Silver suspends them for the entire year. Would be an absolute firestorm in the media and the courts but I guarantee EVERYONE would stand from there on out.

  6. The NBA is far more progressive than the NFL but they realize sticking your middle finger at fans in protest is no way to run a business. Kaepernick message was that he is a jerk. Everything else was lost in that noise.

  7. NBA and NHL gets it; MLB (somewhat) and NFL don’t. Well, ONE middling low-level nobody (a backup catcher on the Oakland A’s) kneeled in a solo “look at me moment” for the MLB……but that was it and it died down and nobody has cared about him since.

    Kudos to the NBA.

  8. Finally we have a Commissioner in a sport with some brass nuts who gets it. Good for Commissioner Silver for having the guts to speak the truth.
    Unfortunately, the NBA players will now react to what he said by doing exactly what he said they can’t do to force him to take action. And because the NBA doesn’t want the same kind of controversy going on in the NFL, he will no doubt back down and allow the players to do whatever they want to do.
    The thought occurred to me we have Americans who play baseball in Japan. I wonder what Japanese baseball would do if an American refused to stand for the Japanese National Anthem? Same for Americans who are playing hockey or basketball in Europe. I wonder what would happen if an American knelt down during one of those countries’ National Anthems?
    Any American who shows disrespect to our National Anthem or our flag should be tarred and feathered and sent to live in another part of the world, in my opinion. It isn’t right to do that and all the false reasons will never justify it. It’s like beating up a child, to me. I don’t give a damn what the reason is, it will never be acceptable behavior to me.

  9. Ticket and concession revenue over 82 games and the playoffs is far more important to NBA owners than NFL owners.

  10. Goodell is getting schooled by the commissioners of the other major sports. The NBA will not allow protests to be an issue. MLB had an issue with sign stealing a few weeks ago but that was handled with fines and a warning to teams instead of dishonest investigations, court battles, and a suspension of a great player. They seem to be repeating the same mistake with Zeke Elliott in a questionable case that will stigmatize him for life. Fans get tired of this stuff.

  11. In 1990, as part of the USFL, Trump sued the NFL for half a billion dollars.
    He won $3.76 and a lifetime ban from the NFL.
    Now you know what all this crap with the “players” is really all about.
    Everything this little man does is borne out of revenge against somebody.

  12. The NBA lost me as more boring than paint drying back in the late 80s just as MLB did. That said, one of the things that is supposed to make America great is each organization is free to choose their own rules as long as they don’t break a law. NBA wants to mandate standing? Great. NFL doesn’t want to mandate that and allows protesting? Great. Both make our country stronger.

  13. The NBA has an actual commissoner, the NFL has an empty suit mouth piece for the greedy owners. HUGE difference !

  14. The NFL chooses to let the tail wag the dog.
    They don’t get it. The players are where they are because of the league. Not in spite of the league. If the league ceases to exist, so do the players.
    It’s in the players best interest to osu attention to the average person’s opinion. It’s what pays their ridiculous salaries.

  15. NBA already had a ratings collapse last season due partly to other protests based on lies like Hand Up, Don’t Shoot. This just shows that they have research that says these anthem protests really arevkilling ratings and the NBA can’t take much more.

    Still, it’s refreshing to see a commissioner do what is good for his league and not what is good for himself.

  16. I think the NBA realizes who the real snowflakes are who will take their ball and go home if they get their fe-fes hurt by not getting their way.

  17. This is America, eh? Cries for enforced nationalism if you want to retain employment?

    Let freedom ring.

  18. A real Commissioner asserting real power/control – along with common sense. If only the NFL had that – all of this could have been avoided. And yet the owners are giving Goodell an extension. Just another example of why Pro Football is in deep, deep trouble.

  19. NBA has a rule of the player standing in attention during the anthem, the NFL does not. Period. Trump has a bone to pick with the NFL from way back and even more recently when he wanted to purchase the Buffalo Bills and was denied. Now if they allowed him the make that purchase of the Bill, do you really think he would be this vocal of the anthem situation. I think not!

  20. donbat67 says:
    Can’t wait til the NBA season starts , kneeling players everywhere .
    ———————————————————————
    I know..haha
    Let Lebron, Steph Curry or any other big named NBA player kneel and get suspended. The NBA fans already have a problem when coached sit and rest players for one game, imagine what will happen if they have to sit 5, 10, 15 games because of suspension.

  21. audio2sell says:
    NFL has a rule. The wuss league just didn’t enforce it.
    ——————————
    The NFL rules states that the National Anthem must be played prior to every NFL game, and all players must be on the sideline for the National Anthem. During the National Anthem, players on the field and bench area should stand at attention, face the flag, hold helmets in their left hand, and refrain from talking.

    If “should” was “must” stand then it would be a requirement, but it doesn’t say that. As long as the player is on the sideline and quiet, there’s no ‘NFL rule’ that players must stand for the anthem.

  22. The Commissioner, I would rather not type his name, needs to set up an EMERGENCY meeting with the head of the NFLPA. The topic needs to be adding a clause in the CBA that REQUIRES all players to stand 10 minutes before, during and 10 minutes after the National Anthem. In return for this, the NFL would suspend indefinitely testing for Marijuana of all players and would reinstate any players who are currently suspended for violating the current NFL marijuana policy.

    I am curious to see if the NFL millionaire players care more about “injustice” or “weed”….. Put it to a vote of the players. I would go with weed as the winner in that vote.

  23. Prediction: Steph Curry (he who was the first Golden Stater to announce he would not accept an invitation to the White House from President Trump) will also be the first NBAer to defy the NBA and take a knee.

  24. httr4life4ever says:
    September 30, 2017 at 6:26 pm
    The NFL rules states….all players must be on the sideline for the National Anthem. During the National Anthem, players on the field and bench area should stand at attention, face the flag, hold helmets in their left hand, and refrain from talking.

    If “should” was “must” stand then it would be a requirement, but it doesn’t say that. As long as the player is on the sideline and quiet, there’s no ‘NFL rule’ that players must stand for the anthem.
    ———————————————————————-

    That’s INCORRECT in two major, crucial ways:
    1) There is no requirement that “all players must be on the sideline” only that “any” players on the sideline do so.
    2) The anthem instructions are in the Game Operations Manual. While “should” may seem softer than “must”, ANY failure to comply with the Game Operations Manual can result in fines, suspensions and loss of draft picks. Basically, the level of your obeyance/interpretation of “should” is not for the player/employee/franchise to decide but for the Commish to decide if your deviation from what you “should” have done is worth his penalizing you.

  25. clownfoodpoop says:
    September 30, 2017 at 11:59 am
    This isnt going to end well…

    Not for the rich owners or coddled players..no, no it isn’t.

  26. httr4life4ever says:
    September 30, 2017 at 5:20 pm
    NBA has a rule of the player standing in attention during the anthem, the NFL does not. Period.

    Uhhhhhhh dude…. read the rule book…the NFL DOES in fact have a rule that states the players MUST STAND AND FACE THE FLAG…… clearly you are related to Hillary Clinton…

  27. ^^P.S. to my previous post – httr4lifeever’s and others’ confusion seems to stem from Yahoo and other news sites who are conflating what the Game Operations Manual actually says, which on the anthem is actually just this:

    “National Anthem
    During the playing of the National Anthem, players on the field should stand at attention, face the flag. hold helmets in their left hand and refrain from talking. Players in the bench areas should do the same and should line themselves up evenly along the sidelines. The home team should ensure that the American Flag is in good condition.”

    So it doesn’t say you must be on the field, just what those on the field should do. However, like I said, any failure to comply with the manual can result in fines, suspensions or lost picks as per whatever the Commish feels like doing on the day and in knee-jerk response to PR or groupings of owners etc.

  28. It’s a shame that the true meaning of this protest has been lost. This is not about disrespecting the flag, or the military, or even the president (but his lame ass actions don’t help). This was about one player expressing his first amendment RIGHTS to protest the police injustice in our society. Anyone who thinks otherwise has fallen into trump’s trap. As far as the NBA goes, I hope all the players kneel. What will they do then? Cancel the season??

  29. nyneal says:
    September 30, 2017 at 2:13 pm
    Finally we have a Commissioner in a sport with some brass nuts who gets it. Good for Commissioner Silver for having the guts to speak the truth.
    Unfortunately, the NBA players will now react to what he said by doing exactly what he said they can’t do to force him to take action. And because the NBA doesn’t want the same kind of controversy going on in the NFL, he will no doubt back down and allow the players to do whatever they want to do.
    The thought occurred to me we have Americans who play baseball in Japan. I wonder what Japanese baseball would do if an American refused to stand for the Japanese National Anthem? Same for Americans who are playing hockey or basketball in Europe. I wonder what would happen if an American knelt down during one of those countries’ National Anthems?
    Any American who shows disrespect to our National Anthem or our flag should be tarred and feathered and sent to live in another part of the world, in my opinion. It isn’t right to do that and all the false reasons will never justify it. It’s like beating up a child, to me. I don’t give a damn what the reason is, it will never be acceptable behavior to me.

    ****

    “Any American who shows disrespect to our National Anthem or our flag should be tarred and feathered and sent to live in another part of the world, in my opinion.”

    Just so I understand where you’re coming from…You would be OK if you lived in a society where you were forced to do something, and if you didn’t, there would be consequences to your bodily self in addition to being exiled?

  30. hnicgm says:
    September 30, 2017 at 8:11 pm
    This was about one player expressing his first amendment RIGHTS to protest the police injustice in our society. Anyone who thinks otherwise has fallen into trump’s trap. As far as the NBA goes, I hope all the players kneel. What will they do then? Cancel the season??
    ________________________________________________________

    You do realize that the reason he was sitting was that he was not starting. He was pouting. Anyone that believes Sackorpick or the false narrative he pushed to cover up his kneeling is falling into the liberals trap. I hope they all stand, respect the flag and the people it represents including our troops and the police officers who put their lives on the line everyday. What we can do after that is get back to letting football players play football and not be a mouthpieces for racist groups like BLM and race baiters like Sharpton.

    Signed/
    Black Male/Army Vet/Current Federal LEO

  31. nyneal says:
    September 30, 2017 at 2:13 pm

    It isn’t right to do that and all the false reasons will never justify it. It’s like beating up a child, to me. I don’t give a damn what the reason is, it will never be acceptable behavior to me.
    ______________________________
    I’m black, my father was born in 1936 and lived through real racism in East Texas. He told many many stories about it. He never bowed to it. Never used it as a reason not to succeed. Would not allow us to either. Racism does exist. My dad served this country. He would have knocked me out for sitting down, talking, pretty much anything short of standing with your hand over your heart would not be tolerated. Same thing happened at school.

  32. “What we can do after that is get back to letting football players play football and not be a mouthpieces for racist groups like BLM and race baiters like Sharpton.

    Signed/
    Black Male/Army Vet/Current Federal LEO”

    Hey I get it…you are an army vet, but you are misguided at best. Until the Racist In Chief inserted himself into this debate, it was about football…and peaceful protest. It’s a shame you don’t stand up for what you bravely fought for.

  33. Roughly 85% of NFL fans support standing for the national anthem, yet the media is spinning it the vast majority is supporting the players.

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