All players, coaches and the three referees taking part in the Utah Jazz and New Orleans Pelicans knelt along the sidelines behind the words "Black Lives Matter" on the court for the national anthem. The players also wore "Black Lives Matter" shirts.
The game between the Jazz and the Pelicans is the first of the NBA's return.
"I respect our teams' unified act of peaceful protest for social justice and under these unique circumstances will not enforce our long-standing rule requiring standing during the playing of our national anthem," NBA commissioner Adam Silver said in a statement to ESPN.
Rayjon Tucker had his right elbow bent and a fist raised during the anthem.
Michele Roberts appeared to wipe away tears.