A report from Brad Turner of the Los Angeles Times said that Utah Jazz players will be among those kneeling during the national anthem when the NBA’s “seeding games” commence on Thursday, though two Jazz players who spoke to local media on Friday said that nothing was official yet.
Turner cited sources in saying that players from the Bucks, Lakers, Clippers, Raptors, Celtics, Nuggets, Jazz, and Heat — who are all staying at the same hotel — had met to discuss some kind of action to continue to bring attention to the ongoing social and racial justice movements. “One of the 1st oncourt actions will be kneeling opening night,” Turner quoted one player as telling him.
Jazz reserve guard Jordan Clarkson, however, said it was not quite that cut-and-dry.
“Well, we did meet about that. I’m not for sure we’re going to kneel, but we are doing something during the national anthem that will send a message, though,” Clarkson said. “We haven’t said if we were kneeling or not, but we did talk about it. It was a conversation. We are doing something.”
Fellow reserve Tony Bradley concurred, adding that he was unaware of the reported multi-team meeting, but that Jazz players had at least discussed it among themselves, with no official consensus yet on whether they will kneel during the anthem.
“I think we’re still in the process of figuring out what we’re going to do,” Bradley said. “… I know us as a team, we’re still discussing the plans before the game.”
The Jazz will a part of the NBA’s first official game back, when they take on the New Orleans Pelicans this Thursday at Disney’s Wide World of Sports complex in Orlando.
Former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick was the first professional athlete to kneel during the anthem in recent years, with myriad other NFL players joining him. Members of the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team have also kneeled in years past. In games played this month alone, players from MLB, MLS, and the NWSL have also kneeled.
The NBA also announced Friday the socially themed messages that players have chosen to wear on their jerseys for the restart. Every Jazz player (except for the injured Bojan Bogdanovic) opted for such a message.