The controversy around kneeling during the national anthem has continued during the league’s restart in Orlando with Spurs head coach Popovich refusing to take a knee against the Kings.
Spurs coach Gregg Popovich and assistant Becky Hammon stood while the rest of the players took a knee during the national anthem in the Spurs’ return to the NBA.
Taking a knee during the national anthem is seen as a non-violent protest against racism prevalent in the society.
NBA players have taken the knee during the national anthem ever since NBA has resumed inside the bubble. Social tensions have been at an all-time high in the country ever since the tragic murder of George Floyd in police custody.
Taking a knee has also been seen as a way to spread awareness about the ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement, something that all players, coach and support staff in the NBA have spoken about.
Why did Gregg Popovich not take a knee?
The decision to take a knee is a personal preference for each individual. Longtime Spurs coach has been clear about his views on the topic. He wants white people to step up and make the Black Community feel safe in times of unrest.
However, while ‘Pop’ has been pretty vocal about BLM and how it affects lives, he chose not to take a knee today, despite wearing the ‘Black Lives Matter’ jersey.
While his views on the same haven’t been captured yet, we feel there is a reason to this.
— FOX Sports Southwest (@FOXSportsSW) August 1, 2020
Popovich is a distinguished graduate of the United States Air Force Academy, meaning all his life he has stood strong and proud when the United States national anthem has been played. And because of his respect for the Air Force in general, he felt it wouldn’t be right to kneel during the anthe,
The Spurs coach is one of the most respected figures in the game and has led the rise of San Antonio Spurs. The Spurs have won five NBA championships under his tutelage.
Coach Gregg Popovich and Becky Hammon stood for anthem. Pop said earlier there was no directive and players could do what they felt was appropriate. #KSATnews #KSATsports #NBA pic.twitter.com/6DVIx6Uns6
— RJ Marquez (@KSATRJ) August 1, 2020
NBA superstars remain vocal about social justice
NBA superstars have been pretty vocal about the racial inequality prevalent in the society. The stars have used their media sessions to call for justice for Breonna Taylor. Superstars like LeBron James have supported Breonna and demanded justice for her. Breonna was tragically killed by policemen in her home in Louisville.
The athletes will look to use the massive NBA platform to raise awareness around the globe and as LeBron James mentioned during his post-game interview, the society needs to constantly fight against it.