The Boston Celtics and Miami Heat kneeled during the national anthem hours after an armed mob stormed the U.S. Capitol. That mob was treated much differently than social justice protesters over the spring and summer, something both teams noted in a joint statement issued before the game.
Before the game both teams walked off the floor before returning:
Here's video of the anthem:
The statement read as followed:
"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 drastic difference between the way protesters this past spring and summer were treated and the encouragement given to today's protesters who acted illegally just shows how much more work we have to do. "
The statement continued:
"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. "
Today's events in Washington have made any other news hard to swallow right now. It has gripped the nation. The embarrassing scenes of a mob taking over the hallowed grounds of the Capitol building, and breaking into the people's House and Senate, should anger every American. Clearly these two teams feel the same way.
UPDATE: The Pistons and Bucks all took a knee shortly after tip-off of their game: