It’s safe to say that this week has been filled with chaos in the United States. On Tuesday, it was announced that the Kenosha police officer that shot Jacob Blake won’t be facing any criminal charges. To make matters worse, violent protestors made their way into the Capitol Building in Washington D.C. on Wednesday in an effort to contend the results of the country’s presidential election.
Despite the uncertainty in the nation’s capital, the NBA chose to proceed with its scheduled games on Wednesday. While players wanted to take the court, they did choose to make a statement with several teams taking a knee prior to games getting underway.
The Boston Celtics and Miami Heat were two of those teams that elected to take a knee during the anthem. Nearly every player on each team got down on one knee to show their support for the Black Lives Matter movement.
Heat and Celtics players kneel for anthem. pic.twitter.com/2QrAtszPaT
In addition, the teams put out a joint statement prior to the game, which explained why they were willing to play on Wednesday.
“2021 is a new year, but some things have not changed,” the statement read. “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 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 & just America.”
The Milwaukee Bucks and Detroit Pistons proceeded with the opening tip for their game. However, right after the Bucks gained control of the opening tip, every player on each team took a knee as Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo dribbled the ball out of bounds to stop the clock.
The Bucks and Pistons took a knee immediately following tip-off. pic.twitter.com/I7LEdAWqgg
The coaching staff for each team also elected to take a knee much like their players did.
This article was originally published on CBS Sports on Jan. 6.
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