The New Orleans Pelicans wore yellow socks in solidarity with Ukraine during their March 2 game against the Sacramento Kings.
While the war in Ukraine is being fought thousands of miles away, the connection between the NBA and the countries involved is closer than one might think. While there are no active NBA players born in Russia, there are two active Ukrainian-born players in the league right now: Alex Len and Svi Mykhailiuk. Len currently plays for the Sacramento Kings, who lost to the New Orleans Pelicans on March 2 with a final score of 125-95.
Although yellow is a part of the Mardi Gras palette, that’s not why the New Orleans team decided to wear yellow socks to the Kings game. Players like Brandon Ingram did so in a show of solidarity with the people of Ukraine.
On Feb. 26, Lithuanian Pels center Jonas Valanciunas opened up about how the Russian invasion of Ukraine affected him.
“My heart & prayers go to Ukrainian people,” Valanciunas said. “War is not a solution. War has to stop.”
New Orleans Pelicans show solidarity with Ukraine by wearing yellow socks
A day after Valanciunas condemned the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Len and Mykhailiuk released a statement concerning the war.
Len also shared an anti-war message from Maryland player Pavlo Dziuba, whose shoes bore the message, “Pray for Ukraine / No war peace.”
Following their victory over the Kings, Valanciunas spoke on why his team decided to wear yellow socks.
“The whole world is talking about sanctions, support, prayers, but something else has to be done because the war is still going on,” Valanciunas said. “The whole world has got to see this. It’s hard to talk about this topic, but attention has to be brought to Ukraine’s people.”