It was a disturbing scene in Washington on Wednesday, as a group of far-right Trump supporters forced their way into the U.S. Capitol building just as officials were preparing to certify the results of the Electoral College votes that will officially make Joe Biden the next President of the United States, an outcome that is inevitable despite futile efforts from a segment of Republications to overturn those results.
As the scene descended into chaos, the NBA world responded to the images they were seeing in the media and didn’t hesitate to call out the hypocrisy in the double-standard that was applied to Black Lives Matter protesters, as they were roundly vilified, fired upon, and arrested en masse amid demonstrations against police violence around the country in the past year. The contrast was particularly stark and fresh as it came a day after the officers who shot Jacob Blake seven times in the back were announced to be facing no charges.
Before tip-off of the Heat-Celtics game in Miami on Wednesday night, news emerged that the Celtics were preparing a statement on the day’s events, but that they were still planning on participating in the scheduled game.
As they have in the past, the two teams joined in kneeling during the national anthem, a symbolic gesture showing the stark contrast in the widespread vitriol they have received for that peaceful form of protest.
Heat and Celtics players kneel for anthem. pic.twitter.com/2QrAtszPaT
— Ira Winderman (@IraHeatBeat) January 7, 2021
NBA players and teams have set something of a precedent for how to respond to fraught political situations like this, having banded together in Orlando to show solidarity as a group in the aftermath of the Jacob Blake shooting and others like it.