Says they may give a pregame ‘message of unity’ if they wish
The National Basketball Association sent a memo late Friday to all 30 teams instructing players to stand for the US national anthem, and warning teams there should not be any exceptions.
The memo, from deputy commissioner Mark Tatum, said the league has the discretion to discipline players who violate a rule already on the books stating that they must stand for the anthem, broadcaster ESPN reported.
The memo tells teams that ‘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.’
It adds that individual teams ‘do not have the discretion to waive’ the rule.
In the memo, Tatum suggests that teams make an effort in their first home game to address the current political climate by having players and coaches give a pregame address to their fans.