Kevin Pritchard: We support our players speaking out, being social active

Even more NFL players took a knee or stood in solidarity with their teammates during the singing of the National Anthem at games on Sunday. It remains a divisive conversation that, as expected, made its way to Pacers media day on Monday.

The NBA does not allow for demonstrations during anthem. In fact, they can be fined for not being in the right position and dressed in a specific way.

The rule states that “Players, coaches, and trainers are to stand and line up in a dignified posture along the sidelines or on the foul line during the playing of the National Anthem.”

Should that be changed?

“Well I think it’s a tough question,” Kevin Pritchard, the Pacers President of Basketball Operations, said. “I would say this – I agree with what [NBA Commissioner] Adam [Silver] said and we support our players.”

Commissioner Silver released a statement over the weekend after President Trump tweeted that the NBA Champion Golden State Warriors’ would not receive an initiation to the White House, as is customary for title-winning teams.

Silver’s statement: “I was in favor of the team visiting the White House and thought it was a rare opportunity for these players to share their views directly with the President. I am disappointed that that will not happen. More importantly, I am proud of our players for taking an active role in their communities and continuing to speak out on critically important issues.”

Pritchard says the players have their full support.

“Before we bring in a player, we do so much background work on these guys that if we don’t trust these guys, shame on us. I want to trust our guys. I want them to be socially active. I want them to express their opinions. This is our youth. This is people that are the fabric of our community. The Colts, the Fever, the Pacers. Those players give back in charities and they do so much, why wouldn’t we give them a voice? So that’s my whole thing.

“… Our guys care, and they want to show that they care.”

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