NBA commissioner Adam Silver told attendees of the Sports Business Awards “not to stick to sports,” as he accepted a trophy for League of the Year on Wednesday.
“I think there’s never been a time when sports has been more impactful on society then it is today,” Silver said. “What we all do in this room matters,” he continued, encouraging people to “use sports to build bridges and bring people together.”
Silver’s comments came the same day as the NFL announced its new policy that teams will get fined if players kneel during the national anthem on the field.
They have the option to remain in the locker room as the song is being played.
“All team and league personnel on the field shall stand and show respect for the flag and the anthem,” NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement.
Players in the NBA have faced backlash over speaking out on non-sports issues.
In February, Laura Ingraham, who hosts The Ingraham Angle, criticized LeBron James and Kevin Durant’s comments about President Donald Trump.
“This is what happens when you attempt to leave high school a year early to join the NBA,” Ingraham said. “Millions elected Trump to be their coach. Keep the political commentary to yourself or as someone just said, ‘shut up and dribble.’”