In the wake of the riots that occurred in Washington, D.C. – where protestors stormed and vandalized the Capitol building in support of President Donald Trump – the Boston Celtics and the Miami Heat walked off the floor prior to tip-off Wednesday night.
According to ESPN‘s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Celtics held a players-only meeting that lasted up to 45 minutes in the locker room before both teams returned to the floor.
Boston Celtics, Miami Heat Release Joint Statement In Wake Of U.S. Capitol Protests & Tuesday’s Decision In Kenosha, Wisconsin
In a joint statement by the Celtics and the Heat; both sides used their platform to address what happened in D.C. on Wednesday and to react to Tuesday’s news from Kenosha, Wisconsin, where it was ruled that there will be no criminal charges in the police killing of Jacob Blake.
Boston and Miami released the following:
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 protestors 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 protestors this past spring and summer we treated and the encouragement given to today’s protestors who acted illegally just shows how much 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.
Brad Stevens On U.S. Capitol Riots: ‘I’m Looking Forward To Two Weeks From Now, As I Know A Lot Of People Are, Too’
Celtics head coach Brad Stevens addressed the matter during his pregame availability. Without any mention of a potential protest, Stevens shared his thoughts on the matter.
“Yeah, I watched it all,” Stevens said. “I’m sure our players watched it all. I’m sure everybody’s watched it all. I guess my reaction is sad. I guess the way that I look at it is, I think we all hope that the people we elect to lead us are supposed to be modeling leadership, will do so in a way that is motivated by serving others by showing compassion; by acting gracefully. And instead, we elected a president, who luckily is on his way out, and others, that have not shown that kind of grace.”
Stevens also added there is solace in knowing that there will be a new president sworn in within the next coming weeks.
“It has been consistent and they just operated in a ‘win at all costs’ attitude,” Stevens said. “Our sports world is a lot less important, obviously, but I always thought if you operate at a ‘win at all costs’ attitude it’s going to be a pretty unfulfilling ending. And in this situation, a disgraceful ending.
“And so I’m looking forward to two weeks from now; as I know a lot of people are, too.”