NBA players want change, decide how to proceed

ASSOCIATED PRESS
MIAMI
Published 26.09.2017 21:52
Updated 26.09.2017 21:53

NBA teams are going to do something. What, no one is exactly sure yet. The first practice of the year awaits most NBA teams - and as if the task of getting ready for a regular season that starts in three weeks wasn't daunting enough, coaches and players all over the league are trying to decide how to best use their platform and continue striving for what they hope is positive change in society. President Donald Trump's recent comments on protests by NFL players, particularly those visible during the playing of the national anthem before games, as well as rescinding the Golden State Warriors' traditional championship invitation to the White House, have struck a clear chord in the NBA.

"We will support our guys if they choose to decide to fight this in a coherent, connected way," Miami Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. "But absolutely, we all feel discouraged just by the divisiveness right now. And we would all just love to see a lot more equality and inclusion."

League-wide media days on Monday were dominated by Trump talk - and while frustrations are clear, solutions are not. At their media days Monday, Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal said Trump is "a clown" and Toronto Raptors guard DeMar DeRozan called the president a "so-called leader." Trump said NFL players who kneel for the national anthem should be fired, and his usage of the term "son of a bitch" to describe protesting players also angered many in the NBA. It seems unlikely that NBA teams will kneel for anthems; many players said that they wouldn't do so. Thunder forward Paul George said he hopes the NBA does something as a league to show unity in drawing attention to the issue of police and race.

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