New Orleans Pelicans, Utah Jazz kneel during national anthem in support of Black Lives Matter
ORLANDO, Florida — The New Orleans Pelicans may have lost to the Utah Jazz Thursday night, but both teams demonstrated their unified support of the Black Lives Matter movement during the playing of the national anthem before the game.
WWL-TV notes that all of the players and coaches on both teams knelt and locked arms in unity while a taped version of the National Anthem recorded by New Orleans' musician Jon Batiste played over the loudspeaker.
Their choice to kneel was a demonstration of their support of the social justice movement that was thrust into the spotlight after the high profile officer-involved killings of several African-Americans during the coronavirus pandemic.
“The New Orleans Pelicans stand by the ideals of freedom of speech and the right to peacefully protest," a statement from the team said. "Collectively with the Utah Jazz, our organization joins the NBA in supporting our players and coaches."
The NBA has been at the forefront of a players' movement in support of social justice, allowing to have their jersey names in support of social causes. Pelicans and Jazz players wore t-shirts that displayed the words "Black Lives Matter" prior to the game.
The Pelicans will return to the court Saturday, to face the Los Angeles Clippers.
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