NBA suggests to teams unity ideas, reminds of anthem rule

NEW YORK (AP) — The NBA is recommending teams address fans or show  videos expressing themes of unity before their first home games, while  reminding them of the rule that players must stand for the national  anthem.

A memo was sent to teams Friday, a day after Commissioner Adam Silver said he expected players would stand for the anthem.

In the memo, obtained by The Associated Press, Deputy Commissioner  Mark Tatum suggested teams use their opening games “to demonstrate your  commitment to the NBA’s core values of equality, diversity, inclusion  and serve as a unifying force in the community.”

He recommended an address by a player or coach to fans before the  anthem, or a video featuring players or community leaders speaking about  important issues and showing photos from past community events.

The league’s preseason schedule begins Saturday with two games, including the NBA champion Golden State Warriors hosting Denver.

Tatum said the league supports and encourages players to express  their views on matters that are important to them, while reminding of  the rule that players, coaches and trainers stand respectfully for the  anthem.

“The league office will determine how to deal with any possible  instance in which a player, coach or trainer does not stand for the  anthem. (Teams do not have the discretion to waive this rule),” the memo  says.

The memo builds on discussions held by the NBA’s Board of Governors  this week, and follows up on one Silver and players association  executive director Michele Roberts sent to players recently.

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