‘An embarrassing and shameful day’: NBA responds to protests outside Capitol, Blake decision

Words and actions came from several NBA teams on Wednesday, hours after a mob loyal to President Donald Trump broke into the United States Capitol.

Wednesday’s events occurred a day after officials announced the decision not to prosecute the police officer who shot and killed Jacob Blake last year in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

Eleven games were on the NBA calendar on Wednesday. In Miami, the Heat and Boston Celtics issued a joint declaration that said:

“2021 is a new year, but some things have not changed. We play tonight’s game with a heavy heart after yesterday’s decision in Kenosha, and knowing that protesters in our nation’s capital are treated differently by political leaders depending on what side of certain issues they are on. The drastic difference between the way protesters this past spring and summer were treated and the encouragement given to today’s protesters who acted illegally just shows how much more work we have to do.

“We have decided to play tonight’s game to try to bring joy into people’s lives. But we must not forget the injustices in our society, and we will continue to use our voices and our platform to highlight these issues and do everything we can to work for a more equal and just America.”

In the game between the Milwaukee Bucks and Detroit Pistons, the two teams offered their own protest when the Bucks, which hosted the game, took the court and had Giannis Antetokounmpo take possession of the opening tip off, and then throw the ball out of bounds. Both teams and coaching staffs then took a knee in protest.

The Pistons then took possession of the ball and repeated the same play, with Blake Griffin tossing the ball out of bounds, followed by both teams taking a knee in protest.

After that, Milwaukee took possession of the ball and the game resumed.

“They’re acting in a win-at-all-costs attitude,” Boston Celtics coach Brad Stevens said of Trump’s administration. The Celtics discussed Blake’s decision prior to what happened in the Capitol.

The Golden State Warriors sported “Black Lives Matter” t-shirts and took a knee for the national anthem, as did their opponents, the Los Angeles Clippers.

“The symbolism of storming the Capitol without force done to them, if you’re a Black American, it definitely touches you differently,” said Philadelphia 76ers coach Doc Rivers. “This is not a Black thing. This is an American thing.”

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