OAKLAND (KPIX) — Fans wondered whether the Golden State Warriors would kneel during the national anthem as other players in the NFL have.
The NBA sent a memo to all 30 teams late Friday, making it clear where the league stands when it comes to the national anthem. It said players, coaches and trainers were expected to stand.
At Saturday night’s preseason game, all eyes were on the hardwood even before the NBA season officially tipped off at Oracle Arena.
Despite some uncertainty earlier in the week about what the Warriors would do, the players and coaches stood. Across the court, players from the Denver Nuggets linked arms.
“They’re just showing unity, they showing unity and that’s a good thing,” says Vonda Johnson, a Warriors fan. “This country needs to be unified because right now it’s trying to be separated and divided.”
On Friday, NBA commissioner Adam Silver released a memo about how NBA players should behave during the Star Spangled Banner, in light of NFL players kneeling in large numbers last weekend.
“The NBA has a rule that players, coaches and trainers stand respectfully for the national anthem. 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.”
“I dunno, I think it’s up to the players to decide what they want to do. I think I’m fine with that,” says Warriors fan Dean Jones.
“It’s hard to tell an adult you have to do something. You know, I think with him being in his position – he has the autonomy to tell people what to do, but at the end of the day it’s up to the individual to decide what they want to do,” says Brandon Quick, another fan. “If the Commissioner is going to fine you $50,000 or $25,000, I think you would stand as well.”
The Warriors decision to stand for the anthem comes a week after President Trump formally rescinded an invitation to visit the White House to the team, after Steph curry and others expressed doubts about the customary visit. The team visited the White House last year to celebrate their 2015 NBA Championship.
“At the end of the day, I think everybody just wants to be in an environment that’s equal opportunity and whether you stand or kneel,” said Quick. “I think we all need to come together to figure it out. It starts at the top. I support whatever’s going on with the Warriors, Raiders, -everybody has their opinion about what they want, but at the end of the day we have to come together to figure it out.