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Each final participant on the Oklahoma Metropolis Thunder took a knee in the course of the nationwide anthem Saturday after an area lawmaker threatened the NBA staff’s tax advantages  in the event that they engaged within the protest towards racism and police brutality.

They have been joined by competing gamers from the Utah Jazz staff earlier than Thunder’s debut sport within the Area at Disney’s Vast World of Sports activities in Orlando.

The staff posted a video of the motion titled “For Equality” on its Twitter web page.

Thunder guard Chris Paul, the president of the Nationwide Basketball Gamers Affiliation, stated later that it was “special to do that together, as a team.” Paul helped negotiate a take care of the NBA to permit gamers to put on social justice messages on their jerseys. 

Thunder Head Coach Billy Donovan stated: “You see quite a lot of the social injustice that takes place” in gamers’ lives. “We simply need to be behind these guys by way of consistently combating for equality all the way in which round,” he added.

The motion got here after state GOP Rep. Sean Roberts threatened Friday to “reexamine” the team’s tax benefits that lured them to Oklahoma in the event that they took a knee. He linked the motion to assist for Black Lives Matter, Marxism and efforts to “destroy nuclear households” in a wild assertion. Nearly all NBA gamers within the nation have been taking a knee in the course of the anthem since video games started Thursday.

“By kneeling … the NBA and its gamers are displaying disrespect to the American flag and all it stands for,” Roberts stated an announcement.

The “anti-patriotic act makes clear the NBA’s assist of the Black Lives Matter group … its ties to Marxism and its efforts to destroy nuclear households,” the assertion added. Roberts threatened: “Maybe we have to re-examine the numerous tax advantages the state … gave the Oklahoma Metropolis Thunder group once they got here to Oklahoma.”

NBA guidelines require gamers to face in the course of the anthem. However league commissioner Adam Silver stated Thursday he wouldn’t implement the regulation at this moment in history out of “respect” for the teams.

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