The NBA’s restart in Orlando has given players, coaches, and everyone inside the bubble an opportunity to ask for a change and fight for equality.
This can be seen in the messages players wear on their jerseys, the court and warm-up shirts saying “Black Lives Matter,” and many other messages around the league. Kneeling for the National Anthem has also been a significant way for everyone in attendance at these games to show their support.
But some players have made news for decisions not to kneel. Specifically, Jonathan Isaac of the Orlando Magic and Meyers Leonard of the Miami Heat have both stood for the anthem, flanked by kneeling teammates, before recent games. This week on the Jump, Paul Pierce was asked about the subject.
“I’m not really quite sure how to react, but the thing is, when I look at it as a teammate, I just wish we would do things in unity. And I’m sure they had this discussion before it all went down, but as a teammate, you know, I just wish we could always to things in unity. It’s almost like, when you come to the huddle when we all used to put our fists in, if he was that one guy standing out, I’d be like, ‘Come on, bring it in.’ I don’t know the reasoning behind the guys that stood up, I just wish we all do it in unity because it looks like we’re all together.”
But while The Truth noted the need for unity, he made it clear such actions wouldn’t be something likely to divide a locker room.
“No, there’s not going to be any of that because these are small things, there’s bigger fish to fry out here. You know, as far as players using their platform for what’s right and players using their platform to get their message out, so I don’t think it’s something that will be talked about. And then we move on from it.”
Catch the Jump weekdays at 3 p.m. ET on ESPN, and watch the clip of the conversation down below.