NBA personnel have shown their support towards the Black Lives Matter movement prior to the season resumption in Orlando.

After being one of the first sport's leagues worldwide to halt competition amid the coronavirus outbreak in March, the NBA returned to the hardwoods today in their Florida bubble.

Moments before tip-off in the opener between the New Orleans Pelicans and Utah Jazz, players, coaches and match officials linked arms and kneeled on the sideline in front of the words "Black Lives Matter", which are printed on the court.

Players also wore shirts with the words during practice and the national anthem.


The two opposing coaches Alvin Gentry (Pelicans) and Quin Snyder (Jazz) were side by side with their teams spread out next to them.

Players' desire for change was more evident on the backs of their jerseys. Some have replaced their surnames with pre-approved messages. Pelicans guard Lonzo Ball has 'Equality' above his number, while forward Derrick Favors elected for 'Listen to Us'.

Similar actions were done by the Los Angeles Lakers and the Los Angeles Clippers prior to the day's second game.

The outflow of support which has been echoed in other sports worldwide follows the death of George Floyd in May, and subsequent anti-racist protests across the United States.

Last week Major League Baseball returned, and players and coaches showed their support in a similar fashion by kneeling prior to the national anthem and donning BLM-related clothing.

The revamped NBA season, which resumes after a 20-week hiatus, features 22 of the 30 teams based in Florida playing eight games in the regular season, before the playoffs begin in September.

The league was initially shut down with the confirmed case of Jazz centre Rudy Gobert. Ironically, Gobert scored the first basket of the first game back.