Walton: Lakers will lock arms during anthem throughout season

by
Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports / Action Images

Get used to seeing the Los Angeles Lakers locking arms during the national anthem.

The players and coaches stood and linked arms in a display of solidarity ahead of Saturday's preseason opener against the Minnesota Timberwolves, and plan to continue the gesture throughout the upcoming campaign.

"We are in this together," head coach Luke Walton said pregame, as quoted by ESPN's Ohm Youngmisuk. "I think they chose to show that we are united in this and that obviously, they have a ton of respect ... well I will let them speak for themselves but I have a ton of respect for the country, the flag, the military.

"But by locking arms, I feel like we are showing that there are issues in this country and it is a chance for us to raise awareness and still make it a talking point. If you do nothing, then it kind of goes away and if it goes away, then nothing changes."

The Timberwolves also locked limbs during the anthem. In Saturday's other preseason contest, the Denver Nuggets linked arms before their matchup with the Golden State Warriors.

The league sent a memo Friday reminding teams that players and coaches must stand during the anthem, or else face the prospect of discipline.