Oklahoma lawmaker threatens tax penalties for NBA Thunder if players kneel during anthem


Oklahoma City Thunder players did not heed a lawmaker’s threat about kneeling during the national anthem.

All the Thunder players knelt on Saturday alongside Utah Jazz players during their NBA bubble debut.


The social justice protest arrived a day after an Oklahoma state lawmaker attempted to pressure Thunder players to his will.

Rep. Sean Roberts (R-Hominy) issued a warning to the Thunder on Friday threatening to pull tax breaks for the team if players kneel during the national anthem while citing conspiracy theories about “Marxism.”

Since bubble play started Thursday, players have largely knelt during the national anthem to protest police brutality and racial injustice.

“If the Oklahoma City Thunder leadership and players follow the current trend of the NBA by kneeling during the national anthem prior to Saturday’s game, perhaps we need to reexamine the significant tax benefits the State of Oklahoma granted the Oklahoma City Thunder organization when they came to Oklahoma,” Roberts wrote in a statement.

Oklahoma News 4 reached out to the Thunder for a response to Roberts’ threat. As of Friday evening, the Thunder had not responded.

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