Miami Heat & Boston Celtics Take A Knee During National Anthem In Light Of Capitol Hill Violence, Jacob Blake Ruling

Players from both the Boston Celtics and the Miami Heat took a knee during the national anthem ahead of Wednesday night’s game, marking a somber moment of a chaotic day.

The players’ demonstration comes after Donald Trump supporters stormed the Capitol as members of Congress convened to certify the Electoral College votes in favor of President-elect Joe Biden. The violent riot that broke out late Wednesday morning interrupted the congressional proceeding and saw government officials evacuated from the scene.

While the NBA pros took a knee in dismay of the assault on Capitol Hill, they also demonstrated against the decision in the Jacob Blake shooting. On Tuesday Kenosha officials decided that the police officer who shot Blake multiple times will not receive charges.

“We play tonight’s game with a heavy 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 Miami Heat said in a statement. “The drastic difference between the way protestors 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.”

The Heat’s statement refers not only to the seemingly lenient behavior police officers showed to Wednesday’s Capitol rioters, but also to Trump’s encouragement of his supporters. On Wednesday Trump said “we love you” to his rioting supporters and called him “very special,” before asking they leave the national building.

The Boston Celtics share the same statement on social media, reiterating messages of dismay and urgency to remember “the injustice in our society.”

Prior to the game, Heat coach Erik Spoelstra addressed the Kenosha decision and Wednesday’s Washington D.C. event.

“It’s really disheartening to see that verdict, really disappointing. It’s really just been a tough string of events,” Spoelstra said.

In 2020, the NBA and WNBA have also expressed their support for Jacob Blake following the August shooting in Wisconsin. The NBA and WNBA both postponed games in protest of the police brutality incident.

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