The Boston Celtics and Miami Heat released a joint statement before Wednesday’s game, voicing their displeasure with Tuesday’s decision in Kenosha, Wis., and the different police reaction to Wednesday’s violent insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.
On Tuesday it was announced that no charges would be filed against the Wisconsin police officer who shot Jacob Blake. On Aug. 23, a white police officer, Rusten Sheskey, shot Blake, a Black man, during an arrest in Kenosha. The shooting left Blake paralyzed and caused protests of racial injustice.
On Wednesday, the nation was stunned to see the storming of the Capitol by a mob supporting Donald Trump. Both teams then released this statement before Wednesday’s game in Miami:
Both teams knelt in protest during the national anthem. According to the Associated Press, there was some doubt hours before tip-off as to whether the game would be played.
In the game between the host Milwaukee Bucks and Detroit Pistons, both teams took a knee in protest against social injustice.
The teams went through the opening tip and then both the Bucks and Pistons and their coaching staffs took a knee.
The Sixers hosted Washington on Wednesday and both coaches, Doc Rivers, and the Wizards’ Scott Brooks, spoke passionately about Wednesday’s chaos in Washington.
“Could you imagine today if those were all Black people storming the Capitol, and what would have happened?” Rivers said, “You know, so that to me is a picture that’s worth a 1,000 words to all of us to see. Probably something for us to reckon with again. No police dogs turning on people. No billy clubs hitting people. People peacefully being escorted out of the Capitol.”
After the Sixers’ 141-136 win over the Wizards, forward Tobias Harris talked about the actions of his fellow NBA players from Boston, Miami, Milwaukee and Detroit.
“I think it’s great,” Harris said. “It’s a peaceful way of expressing what the players wanted to express. It shouldn’t be looked down upon, taking a knee. It was a peaceful way of bringing attention to injustices in the world. And, yes, I respect players doing it, teams doing it.”