The NBA restart took place on Thursday, and Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James made a statement for the Black Lives Matter movement before the team took on the Los Angeles Clippers. James and the rest of the Lakers and Clippers players took a knee during the national anthem while wearing Black Lives Matter shirts. This was done after the New Orleans Pelicans and Utah Jazz took a knee during the national anthem in the first game of the league restart.
"I hope we made [Colin Kaepernick] proud," James said after the game. "Kap was someone who stood up when times wasn't comfortable when people didn’t understand, people refused to listen to what he was saying. If you go back and look at any of his postgame interviews when he was talking about why he was kneeling, it had absolutely nothing to do about the flag, it had nothing to do about the soldiers, men and women that keep our land free." James went on to say while most people didn't listen to Kaepernick, "I did, and a lot of people in the Black community did listen, and we just thank him for sacrificing everything that he did to put us in a position today, years later, to be able to have that moment like we did tonight."
NBA players normally don't kneel during the national anthem because league rules mandate that all players stand. However, NBA commissioner Adam Silver is allowing players to protest due to the issues currently going on in the country. "I respect our teams' unified act of peaceful protest for social justice and under these unique circumstances will not enforce our long-standing rule requiring standing during the playing of our national anthem," Silver said on Thursday.
The NBA resumed the season one week after Major League Baseball started its season, which was delayed for four months due to the COVID-19 pandemic. And like the NBA, MLB teams also kneeled to support the Black Lives matter movement. The difference was most players and teams took a knee before the anthem and stood as the anthem began playing. One of the biggest moves made was when the Boston Red Sox posted a Black Lives Matter billboard outside Fenway Park.