Noah, Knicks react to NBA’s ‘standing’ for anthem mandate

As the NBA threatens punishment for players who don’t stand for the anthem, the Knicks haven’t decided yet how they’ll handle the ceremony before Tuesday’s preseason opener at the Garden.

However, Joakim Noah hinted they may do more than just stand with interlocked arms like last season.

“For some reason I feel like things are a little bit different,” Noah said Saturday. “I don’t know why, but I just feel like there’s more emphasis on it. Shout out to Colin Kaepernick for that.”

The NBA, unlike the NFL, has a rule that players must be present and “standing respectfully” during the anthem. That was reinforced in a memo distributed Friday by NBA Deputy Commissioner Mark Tatum, who warned, “The league office will determine how to deal with any possible instance in which a player, coach or trainer does not stand for the anthem.”

That sounds like a fine. In 1996, Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf was suspended one game for not participating during the national anthem. He then reached a compromise with the league where he was allowed to stand and pray with his head down during the song.

7 PHOTOS
Scenes from Thursday Night Football's national anthem
See Gallery
Scenes from Thursday Night Football's national anthem
Sep 28, 2017; Green Bay, WI, USA; Green Bay Packers wide receiver Randall Cobb (18), quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12), tight end Richard Rodgers (82) and wide receiver Davante Adams (17) link arms during the National Anthem prior to their game against the Chicago Bears at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 28, 2017; Green Bay, WI, USA; Green Bay Packers fans cheer following the playing of the national anthem prior to the game against the Chicago Bears at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 28, 2017; Green Bay, WI, USA; The Green Bay Packers link arms during the national anthem prior to the game against the Chicago Bears at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 28, 2017; Green Bay, WI, USA; Fans hold up an American flag during national anthem prior to the game between the Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 28, 2017; Green Bay, WI, USA; Chicago Bears players linked arms during the national anthem prior to their game against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 28, 2017; Green Bay, WI, USA; Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) link arms with teammates during the national anthem prior to their game against the Chicago Bears at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports
HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

There has never been player who took a knee in the NBA. Many last season either interlocked arms or put their heads down. The plan again for the Knicks is to take a unified approach. Six players on the roster are not American, including three of the team’s core – Kristaps Porzingis, Willy Hernangomez and Frank Ntilikina.

“We want to do things together. We’ve talked about that and told them, ‘Before the exhibition game, you guys discuss how you want to do it,’” coach Jeff Hornacek said. “So I think we’re in the process of that and letting those guys talk with each other and figure it out.”

Added forward Lance Thomas, “Whatever we do, we’ll do it as a team.”

With Carmelo Anthony gone, Noah, who has spoken about his anti-war beliefs and need for stricter gun control, is now the Knicks leader in terms of raising awareness for social issues. He indicated Saturday that the backlash to Kaepernick’s protest is misguided.

“We’re finally talking about social injustice,” Noah said. “People always want to talk about the flag. Of course, the flag is very important. But let’s not forget the reason for the protests are because of social injustice.”

No matter the message, the NBA – which has a working relationship with the military – is requiring that players stand for the anthem. The player’s union president has vowed to challenge the league on this issue.

It could get dicey. And the Knicks are still discussing how they’ll approach it.

“I’m going to speak to my teammates and we’ll see what we come up with,” Thomas said. “We’re going to do whatever we do together.”

Read Full Story

Sign up for Breaking News by AOL to get the latest breaking news alerts and updates delivered straight to your inbox.

Subscribe to our other newsletters

Emails may offer personalized content or ads. Learn more. You may unsubscribe any time.