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Knicks link arms during national anthem

Knicks players and coaches link arms during the national

Knicks players and coaches link arms during the national anthem before a preseason game against the Nets at Madison Square Garden on Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2017. Photo Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

The Knicks didn’t protest during the national anthem before Tuesday night’s preseason opener at The Garden. They stood together and linked arms.

In a statement, the Knicks said they were “not only showing unity” but also calling attention to “serious issues” facing our country, “including gun violence, poverty, equal justice, access to education and civil rights.”

The NBA sent out a memo last week that reminded teams that the rule is everyone stands during the anthem. The Knicks also held a moment of silence for the victims of Sunday’s mass shooting in Las Vegas.

The Knicks said, “Standing together, by addressing these issues, that is how we honor the sacrifices made to defend liberties.”

Not all of the Knicks were on board with standing during the anthem. Enes Kanter, who is Turkish, said if he had others join him, he would have taken a knee, like so many players in the NFL has.

“We did it as a team,” Kanter said. “If it were me I would have taken the knee. But as a team you know, we stand together. . . . We decided. We are going out there as a team. I’m not going out there just myself. It was a team decision.

“It’s just really sad, all these things are happening. In America, it’s freedom of religion, freedom of speech. Today, we protested peacefully out there. We didn’t do nothing crazy, whatever. I am going to pray for this country because I love this country and I hope things will get better and better every day.”

New York Sports