• Rep. Sean Roberts of Oklahoma suggested the state take away the tax breaks given to the Oklahoma City Thunder if players kneeled for the national anthem.
  • The Republican lawmaker compared Black Lives Matter to “Marxism,” saying the movement wants to “destroy nuclear families.”
  • The Thunder and Utah Jazz kneeled during the anthem, as teams have been doing in the NBA’s “bubble” in Disney World.
  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

An Oklahoma lawmaker threatened to rescind the tax break for the Oklahoma City Thunder if players kneeled for the national anthem in the NBA’s bubble.

In a statement, Rep. Sean Roberts criticized the gesture, comparing Black Lives Matter to “Marxism,” according to Jeff Patterson of The Oklahoman. Roberts also said Black Lives Matter wants to “destroy nuclear families.”

The statement was released prior to the Thunder-Utah Jazz game. Players kneeled during the anthem to protest social injustice and police brutality.

“By kneeling during the playing of the national anthem, the NBA and its players are showing disrespect to the American flag and all it stands for,” Roberts’ statement read. “This anti-patriotic act makes clear the NBA’s support of the Black Lives Matter group and its goal of defunding our nation’s police, its ties to Marxism and its efforts to destroy nuclear families.

“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 said the tax break extends through 2024, saying the funds should instead go to police departments.

Here is video of the two teams kneeling during the anthem, via Eric Walden of The Salt Lake Tribune:

Lees ook op Business Insider

Through three days of games, some have opted to stand for the anthem: Orlando Magic forward Jonathan Isaac and San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich and assistant coach Becky Hammon.

NBA players said that they wanted to make social justice reform a focal point during the resumption of the season. Players’ jerseys have social justice messages, and many have used their media sessions to call for change.