Raptors kneel for both American and Canadian anthems ahead of tipoff


The Toronto Raptors kneeled for both the Canadian and American national anthems ahead of their first real game in nearly five months Saturday.

Linking arms in a line behind the words “Black Lives Matter” on the court, the Raptors and Los Angeles Lakers kneeled for The Star-Spangled Banner.

The Raptors changed knees for “O Canada,” a powerful message of unison.

Toronto faced the Lakers in their first of eight seeding games as the NBA resumed after the COVID-19 lockdown.

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Raptors coach Nick Nurse had said the previous day that his team would treat the two anthems as “one long song,” noting that Canada has issues with police brutality it needs to work on also.

“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, we need to do better in the systemic racism area,” Nurse said. “That’s not just Canada, America, that’s a lot of places, so we treat that as one long song tomorrow.”

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