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Celtics walk off court in protest of ugly situation in D.C., release joint statement with Heat

Celtics-and-Heat-players-protest
Jan 6, 2021; Miami, Florida, USA; Boston Celtics players kneel during the playing of the national anthem prior to the game against the Miami Heat at American Airlines Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

The Boston Celtics and Miami Heat are slated to take on one another in South Beach Wednesday night. The far more important backdrop are the ongoing riots by supporters of outgoing President Donald Trump in D.C. as he’s set to leave office in two weeks.

As has been the case in the recent past, the NBA continues to take a strong stance against the racial double standards that exist in American society today.

Unless you have been hiding under a rock, you know full well the situation taking place in the nation’s capital as the Senate was set to confirm Joe Biden to become the next president.

As for the Celtics and Heat, they took a stand against the riots as well as recent news that a Kenosha police officer in Wisconsin will not be charged in the shooting of Jacob Blake last year.

Related: NBA ratings and the 2020-21 season

Celtics walk off court in protest of ugly situation in D.C.

Shortly thereafter, the Heat and Celtics could be seen greeting one another at midcourt.

It’s being noted that Celtics players engaged in a meeting ahead of the game to decide whether to play. In the end, they decided that it was in the best interest of sports fans to get their minds off the insurrection taking place in D.C.

Celtics and Heat release a statement

“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 teams said. “The drastic difference between the way protesters this past spring and summer were treated and the encouragement given to today’s protestors 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.”

The statement ended with “Black Lives Matter.” The two teams were also seen kneeling during the playing of the national anthem.

Heat and Celtics players kneel during the national anthem.
Jan 6, 2021; Miami, Florida, USA; Miami Heat forward Meyers Leonard (0) stands while teammates kneel during the playing of the national anthem prior to the game against the Boston Celticsat American Airlines Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

An unarmed Jacob Blake was shot seven times in the back by Kenosha police officer Rusten Sheskey back in August. As the video went viral, those participating in the NBA Playoffs during the restart in Orlando opted to boycott the games. That included both the Boston Celtics and Miami Heat. It was announced on Tuesday that the officer will not be charged in the shooting.

As for the ugly incidents taking place in D.C. on Wednesday, multiple NBA players took to social media to provide their voices.

As for the Celtics, head coach Brady Stevens also released a statement ahead of Wednesday’s game against the Heat.

β€œI guess my reaction is sad,” Stevens said, via the Celtics official website. “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.”

We certainly hope everyone stays safe and this ugly moment in American history concludes without any more violence.