Toronto Raptors expected to kneel during national anthems at opening game
On Friday, Toronto Raptors coach Nick Nurse heavily implied that the basketball team will follow the lead of other NBA teams and kneel during "O Canada" and "The Star-Spangled Banner" to support the Black Lives Matter movement.
Nurse said that the team will treat both national anthems as "one long song" ahead of their opening game in Florida on Saturday, per CBC News.
"This isn't about countries, this isn't about the borders, to me it's about continuing to shine the light on that we need to do better in (the) police brutality area," Nurse said.
"That's not just Canada, America, that's a lot of places, so we treat that as one long song tomorrow."
Returning to play, ball in hand and fists held high. #WeTheNorth pic.twitter.com/fNl6sRCn4m— Toronto Raptors (@Raptors) July 31, 2020
Kneeling is widely recognized as a symbol of support for the Black Lives Matter movement and the anti-racism protests that have swept across Canada recently.
The Toronto Raptors have already expressed support for the movement in other ways, including travelling in Black Lives Matter tour buses and sporting the words on their jerseys.
Raptors pointguard Kyle Lowry said that he was thinking of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd and other Black individuals that have lost their lives to police brutality when he watched his fellow NBA players take a knee on Thursday night.
Kyle Lowry on what will be going through his head as he kneels during the anthem before the Lakers play the Raptors tomorrow night: pic.twitter.com/acQnKds41A— Tim Bontemps (@TimBontemps) July 31, 2020
The news comes just a few days after NHL players stirred up controversy by remaining on their feet while the national anthems played during their exhibition games on Tuesday.
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