The NBA is recommending teams address fans or show videos expressing themes of unity before their first home games, while reminding them of the rule that players must stand for the national anthem. A memo was sent to teams Friday, a day after Commissioner Adam Silver said he expected players would stand for the anthem. In the memo, Deputy Commissioner Mark Tatum suggests teams use their opening games "to demonstrate your commitment to the NBA's core values of equality, diversity, inclusion and serve as a unifying force in the community," the AP reports.
Tatum recommends an address by a player or coach to fans before the anthem, or a video featuring players or community leaders speaking about important issues and showing photos from past community events. The league's preseason schedule begins Saturday with two games, including the NBA champion Golden State Warriors hosting Denver. Tatum says the league supports and encourages players to express their views on matters that are important to them, while reminding of the rule that players, coaches, and trainers stand respectfully for the anthem. "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," the memo says.