The San Antonio Spurs called for "real change" and equality in a pro-social justice message before their game against the Minnesota Timberwolves Wednesday night.
Both NBA teams stood for the national anthem, then linked arms as a slideshow played across the Jumbotron calling for unity and “equal opportunity for education, and economic advancement regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation or religion.”
"There are things happening in our communities that need our attention," the message read, according to ESPN. "We understand your desire to attend our games as an escape and chosen form of entertainment. In that, we feel there is a significant commonality in all of us that allows our community to be so special. … It is our hope that we can, as a community, inspire and evoke real change. We ask that you join with us in your daily lives in the pursuit of equality. And in that, we honor our country by exercising demands for what this great nation has promised and what our military continues to fight for."
The message was warmly received by the crowd, and Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said following the game that he was proud of the fans for their response.
“They obviously also buy into the message that was sent up on the Jumbotron,” Popovich said. “I’m so proud to be in this city when you have fans that understand that it’s important for everybody. Kudos to our fans.”
Popovich has been a harsh critic of President Trump, calling him a “soulless coward” for his recent, disputed claims that past presidents did not call the families of fallen soldiers. Popovich said last month that the U.S. has become an “embarrassment in the world” under Trump's presidency.