NBA Reacts To Riots At U.S. Capitol

On Tuesday, the Kenosha District Attorney, Michael Graveley, ruled that the officers involved in the shooting of Jacob Blake would not be charged. Then, on Wednesday night, a mob of pro-Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington DC.

That same evening, NBA players opted to compete, but members of the Boston Celtics, Miami Heat, Milwaukee Bucks, and the Detroit Pistons took a knee in protest to the recent events.

Coaches and players across the league have also spoken up about what happened, including the vast difference between how Capitol law enforcement responded to the peaceful Black Lives Matter protests outside of the White House in June compared to how they handled the riots at the Capitol building.

According to The Guardian, Washington police, US Park police, over 5,000 national guard troops (in full body armor), and federal agencies like the Bureau of Prisons were present in June. The Black Lives Matter Movement tweeted that Black protesters were met by law enforcement carrying assault rifles, tear gas, and battle helmets.

Meanwhile, only 340 guardsmen were sent in advance to handle the rioters on Wednesday. 115 of them were on duty and mainly directed traffic, while the DC and Virginia national guard were sent only after the Capitol had been breached. Officers were even spotted taking selfies with rioters.

Here are reactions from the NBA:

Jaylen Brown: “There is two split different America’s. In one America you get killed by sleeping in your car, selling cigarettes or playing in your backyard. In another America, you get to storm the Capitol. No tear gas, no massive arrests.”

Brad Stevens: “My own personal takeaway is the same as many of you: That we have a long way to go. My personal belief is two weeks from now we’ll be in a better spot, but we still have a long way to go,” said Stevens .”We have to continue to prioritize it. Not only ask about and talk about, but do something about it.”

Boston Celtics and Miami Heat:

Steve Kerr: “The truth matters in our country and anywhere in any circumstance because of the repercussions if we allow lies to spread and if we enable people in power to lie…All of a sudden you have millions of people who are doubting an election that was certified in every state. We had seven to eight more million people vote for [Joe] Biden than for Trump. Every state has certified those results. Every court appeal has been turned down. A legitimate election is suddenly questioned by millions of people, including many of the people are leading our government because we’ve decided to over the last few years allow lies to be told. This is who we are. You reap what you sow.”

Stan Van Gundy: “If you are an American and aren’t embarrassed by the domestic terrorism taking place at the Capitol there is something wrong with you. This is a shameful day for our country.”

Doc Rivers: “It’s pretty disturbing, obviously. Sad. But what it’s not is, I keep hearing, this attack on democracy. It’s not. Democracy will prevail. It always does. It shows you a lot, though. When you saw the protests in the summer and you saw the riots and the police and the National Guard and the army, and you see this and you saw nothing. It basically proves a point about a privileged life in a lot of ways. I’ll say it because I don’t think a lot of people want to: Could you imagine today if those were all Black people storming the Capitol, and what would’ve happened?

“So that, to me, is a picture that is worth a thousand words for all of us to see, and probably something for us to reckon with, again. No police dogs turning on people, no billy clubs hitting people — people being peacefully escorted out of the Capitol. So it shows you that can disperse a crowd peacefully, I guess, would be the one thing. But it’s a sad day in a lot of ways; not good for our country and more across the borders, that people see this. It’s part of what we are, and so we have to solve it.”

John Wall: “The most important thing we can do is still stand up for what we stand for and believe in that and stand behind that. We can’t really control what people want to have outbursts and things like that.”

Draymond Green: “…It’s shameful to keep calling them protestors. They’re not f***ing protestors. They’re f***ing terrorists.”

“It’s baffling with the reaction that the law enforcement had and whoever else was involved from a authoritarian standpoint to see the National Guard standing on those same steps when there was a peaceful protest and now to see a terrorist attack and there was no National Guard. It just goes to show you where this country is and where this country has always been and probably where it’s going to stay, to be quite honest. Nothing’s changed. I think through social media and all of these different things we have at our fingertips today, we’re more aware of things. But nothing has changed. This is the same America that it’s been. It’s no different.”

Andrew Wiggins: “Let there be some black people running in there, they all would’ve been shot before they even got to the building.”

Lloyd Pierce: “It’ll never change unless there’s acknowledgement in the past with regards to how African Americans have always been treated in the history of that and going back to slavery and going back to Reconstruction and going back to civil rights,” Pierce said. “You can’t say that things are going to change if you don’t acknowledge that it’s a problem. What you’re seeing today is a reminder there’s a huge difference. There’s a reason why there [aren’t] shooting and brutality and looting and things of that nature, and people are just walking around the Capitol building as if it’s nothing; and people sitting in [Speaker of the House of Representatives] Nancy Pelosi’s office as if it’s nothing.”

Kevin Love: “An absolute disgrace what’s happening at the US Capitol right now. And a blatant example of inequity in how law enforcement chooses to deal with those involved.”

Jamal Crawford: “You do things like this when you know there is a certain privilege where nothing is gonna happen to you.”

Garrett Temple: “I scan my timeline and keep seeing the word “embarrassing.” I’m not embarrassed, I’m not surprised, or shocked even. Embarrassed would mean that I feel a sense of shame by what is going on. I have no such feeling. These people do not come close to being a representation of me”

Scott Brooks: “We should be better than this. What I see in the videos, it’s disgusting. This is a special place. You just hope that everybody from there, our fans; everybody’s safe. This should not be allowed. It’s unacceptable. This is America’s Capitol. You should not be able to do what I saw on video. It’s disgusting, it’s embarrassing, and it should never happen. We have to [play]. This is our job. This is what we have to do. It’s a couple hours out of the day. We all feel the same. It’s just disgusting, but we have to be better. Democracy is there for a reason. It’s all everybody has fought for.”

Jordan Clarkson: “People see the difference; they saw what people did today and how there were no consequences for them. On the other side, it would have…ended in multiple arrests and deaths.”

 J.B. Bickerstaff: “I mean, it’s saddening. It’s disgusting, to be honest with you,” Bickerstaff said. “Our democracy has been a beacon for hundreds of years of what the world ideologically should be. People have looked up to us all over the world and what’s happening there is a disgrace. We have a democracy. Every vote should matter. Every state should have the right to certify their votes and their results. And when that happens, we move forward.

“It’s a stain on our democracy. It’s entitled, spoiled, throwing temper tantrums instead of accepting and moving forward to make our country better, which is the most important thing. It’s not about us as individuals, it’s about what’s best for the country and how we heal our country. And this doesn’t help. This makes it worse.”