Utah Jazz, Players Celebrate Juneteenth Online

Jun 19, 2020, 3:39 PM | Updated: 3:40 pm
Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert talks to members of the media at the Zions Bank Basketball Center in S...
Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert talks to members of the media at the Zions Bank Basketball Center in Salt Lake City on Thursday, April 25, 2019. The Utah Jazz season ended with Wednesday's loss to Houston in the playoffs. (Kristin Murphy, Deseret News)
(Kristin Murphy, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Utah Jazz players took to Twitter to celebrate Juneteenth. The holiday recognizes the date Texas was ordered to free its remaining slaves. Both the players and the organization voiced their support for the holiday.

“Freedom Day is a day of celebration, rejoicing and a reflection on the work that still needs to be done,” The Jazz tweeted. “Happy #Juneteenth.”

On Wednesday, the Jazz announced it would begin recognizing Juneteenth as a company holiday.

Meanwhile, a handful of players paid respect to the day online.

“Happy JUNETEENTH,” Rudy Gobert tweeted. “Still a long way to go but we are on the right path.”

Both Donovan Mitchell and Royce O’Neale issued simple “Happy Juneteenth” messages online.

The NBA has featured several tweets celebrating Juneteenth on its timeline. The league shared tweets from its players and teams and included a quote from Hall of Famer Magic Johnson.

“This is a call to action for everybody and their willingness to do whatever to bring about change.” Johnson’s quote read.

What is Juneteenth?

On June 19, 1865 General Gordon Granger marched into Texas and announced that the Union Army had taken authority over the state. In accordance with the Emancipation Proclamation, signed by President Abraham Lincoln more than two years earlier, General Granger announced that Texas must free all slaves.

Juneteenth is a portmanteau of June and nineteenth. The day is also known as Emancipation Day and Black Independence Day.

Most states across the country celebrate the holiday. Many states host parades, religious ceremonies, or festivals to commemorate the day.

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Utah Jazz, Players Celebrate Juneteenth Online