Bruce Maxwell, catcher for the Oakland Athletics, just became the first major league baseball player to take a knee during the national anthem in Saturday’s game against the Texas Rangers. Last year, then-San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick was booed for taking a knee during the national anthem while his team played the San Diego Chargers. Kaepernick said the silent protest was meant to bring awareness to injustices against minorities in the United States.
President Trump rescinded his White House invitation on Twitter Saturday morning after NBA Golden State Warriors star and two-time MVP Stephen Curry said he may not attend the event to honor his team's championship win. Hours later, the Golden State Warriors said they were "disappointed" they didn't have the chance for an open dialogue, saying they will instead spend the day in D.C. celebrating diversity, equality and inclusion. Mr. Trump, the morning after he attacked the NFL and 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick at length during a rally for U.S. Senate candidate Luther Strange in Alabama, said going to the White House is a "great honor for a championship team" and criticized Curry for "hesitating." Curry said in an interview on ESPN this week that he would prefer not to attend.
NBA referees will be able to call flagrant or technical fouls on defenders who dangerously close on jump shooters without allowing them space to land, as Zaza Pachulia did on the play that injured Spurs star Kawhi Leonard in last season's playoffs. Officials will also make sure jump shooters are in their upward shooting motion when determining if a perimeter foul is worthy of free throws, which could cut down on James Harden's attempts after he swings his arms into contact. The new rules interpretations are being unofficially called the "Harden Rule" and the "Zaza Rule". The Washington Wizards accused the Celtics' Al Horford of a dangerous closeout on Markieff Morris that injured Morris and knocked him out of Game 1 of their playoff series two weeks before the Pachulia-Leonard play.