According to an article in The Root, the NBA commissioner sent out a memo this past Friday reminding players that the NBA's policy requires players to stand during the National Anthem. However, the commissioner encouraged them to send out videos expressing unity. He was likely attempting to subtly capitulate to those who wish to protest, while not invoking the ire or rage of Trump.

The entire athlete protest controversy exploded because of Trump

Donald Trump decided, in his most recent rally in Alabama, that he would attack any athlete who took a knee during the National Anthem.

He called for the firing of players who di such a thing. After that speech, several teams, throughout the NFL, either took a knee or locked arms in solidarity rebuking Trump. However, some Trump supporters and Conservative publications supported Trump's attacks on these players. As a result, some of his supporters burned their NFL tickets, their Jerseys, their memorabilia, and refused to continue to watch the games.

The NBA commissioner, who hadn't previously made an issue about protesting the National Anthem until Trump's speech, has now taken the time to remind players not to kneel. It can only be presumed that this decision to remind the players to stand was done because of the fear of some Trump and his remaining supporters backlash.

However, in a league that's over 70 percent black and the protests being about injustices against the black community, it's hard to see how this reminder makes good business sense, and it also angered fans.

The protests are purposeful, not rebellious

The protests are not about the rejection of the National Anthem or the flag.

They are a rebuke of systemic and institutional racism. None of the players are taking a knee because they want to undermine the sacrifices of fallen heroes or disrespect our troops. Contrarily, one way to honor our troops is by exercising your first amendment right to protest, a right that these soldiers fight to preserve.

For context, these protests started by Colin Kaepernick were intended to bring awareness to people about #police brutality, inequality, our failing criminal justice system, income inequality, racism, and bigotry.

Colin Kaepernick, who is currently unemployed by the NFL, sacrificed his livelihood and used his platform to attempt to effectuate change. For a significant amount of time, he was the only one taking a knee. However, after Trump's condemnation of the players, several players, from multiple sports, started to take a knee. Now, they are being forbidden from doing so because Trump has bullied the heads of these sports to disallow the protests.

Trump will likely take credit for this

Knowing Trump by now, it's almost a certainty that he will take credit for this maneuver by the NBA. However, Trump isn't responsible for players no longer being allowed to kneel. The NBA commissioner is forbidding them from doing so.

Regardless, I am certain Trump, who desperately needs a "win" right now, will see this as his personal success story. Nothing could be further from the truth.

The NBA capitulated to Trump, not the players. Nevertheless, it will be difficult for the NBA to satisfy their players' thirst to protest by asking them to make "unity" videos. It's further absurd to believe that the issues that drove people to protest will just disappear. No matter what, in the minds of those who wish to protest, this battle is far from over.

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