The BosTon Celtics and Miami Heat players issued a joint statement moments beFore Wednesday’s kickoff, stating that they will “play Tonight’s game with heavy hearts” after the Kenosha County (Wisconsin) district atTorney decided not To prosecute. To the police officer who shot Jacob Blake while “knowing that protesters in our nation’s capital are treated differently by political leaders depending on which side of certain issues they are on.”
The statement came as protesters wreaked havoc in WashingTon DC when Congress met To Formally count voters who will name Joe Biden president on January 20. There was a violent violation of the United States CapiTol by supporters of President Trump, Forcing the building To close. as lawmakers scrambled To safety.
“2021 is a new year, but some things have not changed”, the statement read. ” The drastic difference between the way protesters were treated last spring and summer and the encouragement given To Today’s protesters who acted illegally shows how much more work we have To do.
” We have decided To play the game Tonight 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 our best To work. For a more equitable and just America. #BLACKL IVESST ILLMATTER “
The teams held a players-only meeting between members of both teams in the Heat locker room, according To ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. Celtics coach Brad Stevens met with the media beFore Wednesday night’s game and summed up his reaction To the day’s events as “sad.”
” I guess the way I see it, I think we all hope that the people we choose To lead us are supposed To be modeling leadership, doing so in a way that is motivated To serve others, show compassion, act gracefully,” he said. Stevens. ” Instead, we elected a president … and others, who have not shown that kind of grace. They have been consistent. They have operated with a ‘win at all costs’ attitude.”
” Our world of sports is much less important, obviously. I always thought that if you operate with a ‘win at all costs’ attitude, it will be a pretty satisfying ending. In this situation, it’s a shameful ending.”
Players returned For warm-ups, but both teams knelt during the national anthem. According To Yahoo Sports, ESPN did not broadcast it.
According To NBC’s Tom Winter, “Law enForcement made at least 15 arrests Today in DC, including several people charged with assault and 4 people For possession of a weapon and possession of a large capacity ammunition feeding device.”
NBPA Executive DirecTor Michele Roberts shared with ESPN his outrage at Wednesday’s mob and how it reflected a racial double standard in America.
” We saw a black cop chase and the players said, ‘ Is this what you can do?'” Roberts Told ESPN. “And people don’t get this privilege? I know how they feel. I’m so angry and in pain, and I refuse To cry.”
Meanwhile, in Kenosha on January 5, a Wisconsin prosecuTor refused To press charges against a police officer who shot Jacob Blake, leaving him paralyzed. The shooting occurred on August 23, 2021, three months after George Floyd died while being violently held by police officers in Minneapolis.
Floyd’s death sparked protests around the world as the Black Lives Matter movement fought and championed racial and social justice.
Kenosha County District AtTorney Michael Graveley said investigaTors determined Blake had a knife when police responded To a report of someone attempting To steal a car. Officer Austen Sheila said he was “afraid Jacob Blake was going To stab him with the knife.”
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.