NBA games resumed for the first time since March because of the coronavirus with NBA teams kneeling and bowing when the US national anthem was played on Thursday, protesting to racial injustice and paying their respect to African Americans that have been killed by the US police mist notably the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
Some of the messages the players had at the back of their jerseys were “Education Reform”, ” Equality “, and ” Say their Names”.
NBA teams that took the knee were the Utah Jazz, New Orleans Pelicans, Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers. Also, Black Lives Matter was written on the courts at the ESPN World Wide of Sports Complex in Walt Disney World Resort close to Orlando, where the NBA agreed to conclude the season with 22 teams inside an enclosed bio secure bubble.
NBA games were played behind closed doors but virtual fans appeared on LED screens wrapped around the court and cheers and jeers could be heard.
The Lakers’ LeBron James, after scoring the game-winning shot in his team’s 103-101 win over the Clippers, said: “It’s an opportunity to use this platform to spread a lot of positivity and love throughout the whole world.”
He also said, “We’re dealing with a lot of racism, a lot of social injustice and a lot of police brutality, not only in my neighbourhood and not only with Black people, but with all people of colour.”