The Toronto Raptors and Canadians everywhere have taken issue with Dwayne Wade of the Miami Heat. Before Saturday’s game, Wade continued shooting baskets during “O Canada,” the Canadian National Anthem. The last time an NBA player ignored the national anthem was Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf, a former NBA player, who wouldn't stand during the national anthem. Under heavy criticism, he compromised and agreed to stand, but he would look down on the floor with his eyes closed. Perhaps Wade even brought bad Karma to his team since the Raptors won the game 95-91.

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On Sunday, Wade said he meant no disrespect. He blamed the snafu on time clock management. Fortunately, time management wasn’t an issue during the “Star-Spangled Banner.” For now, it’s unknown if team management will punish him. Wade is a long-term NBA veteran who isn’t known for disrespecting anyone’s national anthem. But if viewers check pre-game video footage, they will wonder how he didn’t see his teammates standing for “O Canada.”  

Standing for a team’s anthem is a requirement and a sign of respect

The NBA rule on the national anthem is: “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.” However, the rule only refers to one anthem.

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The NBA must re-evaluate the rule to ensure it applies to all anthems.

John Tory, the mayor of Toronto, took to Twitter to voice his displeasure with Wade. Tory reminded him that a Canadian invented Basketball, which is true. James Naismith, a Canadian man, invented basketball in 1891 while working at a YMCA in Springfield, Massachusetts. He created the game for kids so they would have an indoor activity during the cold Massachusetts winters.

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Naismith also wanted a game that didn’t require brute strength, which is  a necessity in professional football. The winner of the Raptors and Heat will play the winner of the Cavaliers and Hawks series to play the champions from the west for the NBA Championship.

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