The NBA Sends A Reminder For Players To Stand During National Anthem

"My expectation is that our players will continue to stand for the anthem." NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said Friday (Sept. 29). 

The intersection of sports and activism has always been a tough, but historic crusade. With the political climate heavier than ever, athletes have been more vocal when it comes to social justice.

This has been seen from all sports terras, causing the NBA to issue a reminder about their rules pertaining to the National Anthem. ESPN reports late Friday (Sept. 29), a memo by way of deputy commissioner Mark Tatum reminded players and coaches about their rule that all players must stand during the National Anthem.

The memo comes right after NBA commissioner Adam Silver said during a news conference that he expects players to stand during the anthem. "Many of our players have spoken out already about their plan to stand for the anthem," Silver said Thursday (Sept. 28). "And I think they understand how divisive an issue it is in our society right now."

Tatum's memo to players includes suggestions on how to showcase their alliance to certain causes, like creating a video package or engaging in panels with the community. "This could include a message of unity and how the team is committed to bringing the community together this season," the memo said.

Players like LeBron James, Steph Curry and Carmelo Anthony haven't made plans to kneel or sit during the anthem, but they have used their platforms to criticize the Trump administration as well as the ongoing racial injustices against people of color.

LeBron On Donald Trump's Controversial Presidency: 

"He doesn’t understand the power that he has, for being the leader of this beautiful country. He doesn’t understand how many kids, no matter the race, look up to the President of the United States for guidance, for leadership, for words of encouragement. He doesn’t understand that, and that’s what makes me more sick than anything, that this is the number-one position in the world ... And we are at a time where the most powerful position in the world has an opportunity to bring us closer together as people, and inspire the youth, and put the youth at ease on saying that, “It is OK for me to walk down the street and not be judged because of the color of my skin or because of my race.” And he has no recognition of that. And he doesn’t even care. Maybe he does, but he doesn’t care."

Stephen Curry On Colin Kapernick's Protest Against Police Brutality & Absence On Sports Illustrated's "Unity" Cover 

"It is kind of hard see how certain narratives take place, being prisoners of the moment. At the end of day, that stuff does not really matter, it is about the true message and really highlighting the people doing the right things."

Carmelo Anthony On Trump's Comments About Steph Curry & Hurricane Relief Efforts: 

"I just think it's wrong, to be honest with you. I just think it's silly. It just shows that you don't really have a care for the fear that the minorities have in our country right now. You don't really understand. You don't get it, like what it's like being a minority. You don't understand that people are scared. People are afraid. People don't know what's going on, and there's so much going on they don't know how to feel. I think all we're looking for is some kind of security blanket that - at the end of the day - you have our back. And you're showing that you don't."

The NBA memo doesn't mention a punishment for those who decide not to stand during the games.

UPDATE: A source close to the NBA reached out to VIBE.com with an updated memorandum concerning NBA players and the national anthem, and while the current social climate are deemed as "difficult and nuanced issues." The NBA has provided a multi-pronged approach for players, coaches and staff to express their views as well as maintain the league's commitment to diversity.

If you have not done so already, we suggest organizing discussions between players, coaches, general managers and ownership to hear the players’ perspectives.

One approach would be for team leadership to review existing team and league initiatives and encourage players to share their thoughts and ideas about them. Following those conversations, teams could develop plans prior to the start of the regular season for initiatives that players and senior leadership could participate in, such as:

Hosting Community Conversations with youth, parents, community leaders and law enforcement about the challenges we face and our shared responsibility to create positive change.

Creating “Building Bridges Through Basketball” programs that use the game of basketball to bring people together and deepen important bonds of trust and respect between young people, mentors, community leaders, law enforcement and other first responders.

Highlighting the importance of mentoring with the goal of adding 50,000 new mentors to support young people through our PSA campaign.

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John Boyega Delivers Powerful Speech At Black Lives Matter Rally In London

John Boyega delivered a powerful and moving speech during a Black Lives Matter rally in London on Wednesday (June 3).

“I wanna’ thank every single one of you for coming out this is very important, this is very vital. Black lives have always mattered,” the 28-year-old Star Wars actor said to a cheering crowd. “We have always been important. We have always meant something. We have always succeeded regardless, and now is the time. I ain’t waiting.

Boyega called out detractors for trying to derail the peaceful protest before sharing his feelings on the recent incidents of police brutality and white supremacist violence that have fueled recent uprisings. “I need you guys to understand how painful this s**t is! How painful it is to be reminded every day that your race means nothing, [but] that isn’t that case anymore. We are a physical representation of our support for George Floyd. We are a physical representation of our support for Sandra Bland, for Trayvon Martin, for Steven Lawrence, for Mark Dugan.”

In another emotional moment, Boyega addressed Black men. “We need to take care of our Black women. They are our hearts,” he said through tears. “They are our future. We cannot demonize our own. We are the pillars of the family. Imagine this: a nation that is set up with individual families that are thriving, that are healthy, that communicate, that raise their children in love, [that] have a better rate of becoming better human beings and that’s what we need to create. Black men, it starts with you.”

Watch the full speech below.

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Ferguson Elects Ella Jones As City’s First Black Mayor

Ella Jones became Ferguson’s first Black mayor following Tuesday’s (June 2) election. Winning 59.9% percent of the vote, Jones beat out opponent and fellow Ferguson City Councilwoman Heather Robinett. The victory also makes Jones the city’s first female mayor.

“It’s just our time,” Jones, 65, said in a post-election interview with the St. Louis Dispatch. “It’s just my time to do right by the people.”

Ferguson gained worldwide attention in 2014 after Ferguson police shot and killed 18-year-old Michael Brown, and the fight for justice hasn't stopped. Most recently, residents took to the streets amid the coronavirus pandemic to protest the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and other police brutality victims.

“In the midst of this COVID-19 pandemic, our restaurants, our businesses were closed, and now they were trying to open up and we have the protests, so it set a lot of businesses back,” she told the St. Louis American. “So, I am just reaching out to various partners to see how we can best help these businesses recover from the protests and open. We don’t want to lose any of our businesses, because they are the cornerstone of our community, and when we lose one, it just hurts all. My goal is to work, talk to anyone that will listen, to help stabilize these businesses in Ferguson.”

Jones previously ran for mayor in 2017 but lost to incumbent James Knowles III, who served as mayor for three terms.

The former pastor has called Ferguson home for more than 40 years. A graduate from the University of Missouri at St. Louis with a degree in chemistry, Jones obtained a certification a high pressure liquid chromatographer and completed training as a pharmacy technician. Jones' background includes working in Washington University School of Medicine's biochemistry molecular bio-physics department, and as an analytical chemist for KV Pharmaceutical Company, as well as a Mary Kay, where she was a sales director for 30 years before quitting to work in the community full time.

Jones is also the founder and chairperson of the nonprofit community development organization, Community Forward, Inc., and a member of the Boards of the Emerson Family YMCA, and the St. Louis MetroMarket, the latter of which is a decommissioned bus that was retrofitted as a mobile farmers’ market that provides fresh fruits and vegetables to underserved communities.

Hear more from Jones in the video below.

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Barack Obama Discusses Racism And Police Reform During Virtual Town Hall

Former President Barack Obama joined local and national leaders for a digital town hall on Wednesday (June 3). The 90-minute event put on by the Obama Foundation's My Brother's Keeper Alliance was centered around “reimagining policing in the wake of continued violence.”

“Let me start by just acknowledging that we have seen, in the last few months, the kinds of epic changes and events in our country that are as profound as anything that I’ve seen in my life,” said Obama. “Although all of us have been feeling pain and certain disruption, some folks have been feeling it more than others. Most of all the pain that’s been experienced by the families [of] George [Floyd], Breonna [Taylor], Ahmaud [Arbury], Tony [McDade], Sean [Reade], and too many others to mention.”

To the families directly affected by racial violence and police brutality Obama added, “Please know that Michelle and I, and the nation grieve with you, hold you in our prayers. We're committed to the fight of creating a more just nation in the memory of your sons and daughters.”

The ex-commander in chief went on to speak about institutional racism, and what he believes to be the bright side to the recent tragedies, namely in that young people have been galvanized and mobilized into taking action. “Historically so much of the progress that we’ve made in our society [have] been because of young people. Dr. King was a young man, Ceasar Chavez was a young man, Malcolm X was a young man. The leaders of the feminist movement, union movements, the environmentalist movements, and the movement to make sure that the LGBTQ community had a voice, were young people.”

Obama also addressed the “young men and women of color” around the country, who have witnessed too much violence and death. “I want you to know that you matter. I want you to know that your lives matter. That your dreams matter.”

Other town hall participants included, activist and writer Brittany Packnett Cunningham, former Attorney General Eric Holder Jr., Color of Change President Rashad Robinson and Playon Patrick, Ohio State University student and MBK Youth leader for the city of Columbus.

Additional town hall participants included, activist and writer Brittany Packnett Cunningham, former Attorney General Eric Holder Jr., Color of Change President Rashad Robinson and Playon Patrick, Ohio State University student and MBK Youth leader for the city of Columbus.

Watch the full event below.

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