Basketball is the new politics.
That’s the message from the NBA Players Association, which is taking a stand on whether players who choose to publicly endorse Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton should be granted an exemption to the league’s personal conduct policy.
The new stance came in a joint statement with the Players Association and the league.
The Players Association says the policy should be updated to explicitly recognize the role of political speech and debate in basketball, as well as the fact that some players have engaged in political speech while on the court.
The league says that while it supports the First Amendment, it “does not support the current policy that prohibits political speech or the ability of players to endorse political candidates.
This is an important step toward protecting the integrity of our game, the players, and our communities.”NBA Players Association spokesman Josh Lewenberg said the players want the league to make clear that the league does not support players expressing their personal opinions on politics.”
We do not support political speech by players,” Lewenberg told reporters at a news conference Tuesday afternoon.
“We believe that if there’s any reason for players to express a political opinion, we think they should have that right.
And if they’re not doing that, then the league is going to have to do its job.
We don’t think they’re being very transparent in that respect.
They’re just not being very honest with us.”
The league says it will begin updating its personal conduct policies to address the issue of players endorsing candidates.
The updated policies will also include a new section that allows the league and the players union to work together to help players improve their communications skills, Lewenberg added.
“This is about ensuring that we have the best possible communications, and that we’re not giving players a license to be divisive and to have a bad image,” Lewenburg said.
The players union, which includes players from the Los Angeles Lakers, Boston Celtics, Philadelphia 76ers, Charlotte Hornets and Chicago Bulls, has said it supports free speech but does not believe that free speech should be used to suppress or suppress opposing viewpoints.
Lewenberg defended the league, saying it’s not opposed to free speech.
“The NBA is not a political organization, and we’re going to not be bullied into being one,” Lewberg said.
“But there are certain issues that we can’t ignore that have to be addressed in a respectful manner.”
Lewenberg said he expects the league will eventually update its policies, and added that he expects to see a full update soon.
The issue has been a subject of heated debate over the last few days, with some players questioning why the players association did not take a stand sooner.
The NBA has faced scrutiny in recent months over its handling of the protests by players who kneeled during the national anthem during the 2016 season.
Players who protested the National Anthem refused to stand during the anthem during a preseason game against the Philadelphia 76s, and some also refused to sit during a game against Denver.
They were eventually suspended by the league for violating league rules, but many players have said the league should have made a move sooner.ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported Tuesday that the players did not have the backing of the union to change their policy on free speech, but that the union had some support from some of its members.
The NFL’s players union is comprised of former and current players who are active in various politics, including the labor movement, and has come under fire from both Democrats and Republicans in recent years.
The union says it does not endorse any political candidate and has said that some of the players who have supported Trump have been outspoken about their political views.