The Toronto Raptors made a show of solidarity by linking arms during the anthems before their NBA pre-season game with Golden State on Saturday night.
Raptors’ players and staff stood arm-in-arm for the Star-Spangled Banner and O Canada at Rogers Arena in Vancouver, where the game was played. Some bowed their heads. Their statement was the latest entry in a series of recent designed to raise awareness of racial injustice and other social problems.
“We wanted to show solidarity,” said Raptors guard Kyle Lowry. “We’re a team, we’re all together, we’re all one race, we’re all human beings. We all understand that things in the United States and the things in the world [aren’t] the best right now.”
The Raptors, who 97-93, held discussions all week before the decision to link arms was made.
Since San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick first refused to stand for the national anthem in August, America has grappled with questions of patriotism, free speech and the American flag, and many sports stars have opted to show their support. Several NFL players have sat, knelt or raised fists, and many high school and college players have also picked up the cause.