The Cleveland Cavaliers are taking the NFL's protest against police brutality and systemic racism to the NBA.
According to Deadline, LeBron James and the rest of the Cavs linked arms during the national anthem prior to kicking off the NBA regular season in a game against the Boston Celtics. The opposing team reportedly did not participate in the peaceful protest, and none of the players appeared to have kneeled, an action the White House has continually criticized as "disrespectful" to both the American flag and the troops.
If you're wondering why the players didn't kneel, the decision likely has to do with a memo the NBA circulated weeks ago reinforcing its rule that coaches, players, and trainers are required to stand during "The Star-Spangled Banner." Should anyone violate the rule, the league would have the right to punish that individual as it saw fit.
The brave showing of solidarity also came just weeks after James shared a video condemning Trump for trying to create a greater divide in the United States by spending so much time talking about the Take A Knee demonstrations in the NFL.
"I'm just a little frustrated, man, because this guy that we've put in charge has tried to divide us once again" he said. "We all know what happened in Charlottesville and the divide that caused, and now, it's even hitting more home for me now because he's now using sports as the platform to try to divide us."
James continued to say that sports has long been a unifier that creates bonds between players and that he "can't stand for" or "be quiet about" Trump's attacks.
James isn't the only person in the NBA who's frustrated by the current administration, either. On Monday, The Nation published a piece in which famed coach Gregg Popovich called Trump a "soulless coward." The critique was in response to a remarkable lie Trump made, in which he claimed that other presidents "didn't make calls" to military families after a soldier had died.
Popovich concluded his phone interview by saying Trump was "unfit" to be president.
"We have a pathological liar in the White House, unfit intellectually, emotionally, and psychologically to hold this office, and the whole world knows it, especially those around him every day," he said. "The people who work with this president should be ashamed, because they know better than anyone just how unfit he is, and yet they choose to do nothing about it. This is their shame most of all."
With Tuesday being the start of the season, it's safe to assume that fans will be hearing more strong political stances from players and coaches as the year progresses.