Watch: Jazz, Pelicans kneel for anthem ahead of 1st game
David Sherman / National Basketball Association / Getty

Members of the Utah Jazz and New Orleans Pelicans kneeled during the national anthem before the NBA's first game Thursday in Orlando.

The move was widely anticipated, and it was the first such demonstration in an NBA game since former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick did so in 2016 to protest police brutality and racial injustice.

Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell said earlier this week that the opportunity was "monumental" in furthering that message.

"I stand for something that's bigger than just playing basketball and making money," he said. "I think having my name and being able to say I stood up for something that is definitely not right, and I think myself and others throughout this league have done a great job."

Following the demonstration, NBA commissioner Adam Silver released a statement saying players and coaches will not be disciplined for violating the league's rules that require standing during anthems.

"I respect our teams' unified act of peaceful protest for social justice and under these unique circumstances will not enforce our long-standing rule requiring standing during the playing of our national anthem," Silver said, according to Yahoo's Chris Haynes.

The Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers followed suit in the second half of Thursday's doubleheader, linking arms as they knelt in unison.

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Watch: Jazz, Pelicans kneel for anthem ahead of 1st game
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