NBA rules require teams to stand during the playing of the "Star-Spangled Banner" but the Knicks will still make a social statement.

The Knicks announced Tuesday they will stand for the national anthem, but with linked arms to "call attention" to serious issues like gun violence, poverty, equal justice, access to education and civil rights.

"Standing together, by addressing these issues, that is how we honor the sacrifices made to defend liberties," the statement concluded.

Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick began a one-man protest last year by kneeling during the national anthem to bring attention to police brutality against people of color and other racial injustices. That movement grew during the season and, after President Donald Trump said during a Sept. 22 speech in Alabama that any player who kneels during the anthem is a "son of a bitch" who should be fired, NFL teams responded with a massive display of solidarity over the last two weekends. 

Most teams stood with locked arms as a sign of unity, after which the action planned by the Knicks is clearly modeled.