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Celtics, Heat Protest Reaction to Riots, Blake Shooting

The teams knelt during the anthem and issued a joint statement after 48 hours of unrest.

NBA: Boston Celtics at Miami Heat Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

The Boston Celtics and Miami Heat met together before their scheduled game tonight, formulating a response to today’s riots at the U.S. Capitol Building and corresponding treatment of protesters for the Black Lives Matter movement in the spring and summer of 2020. Both teams took the court for the start of the game, but they knelt during the national anthem and released a joint statement explaining their stance against injustice.

The text of the statement for those reading on small screens:

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.

We have decided to play tonight’s game to try to bring joy into people’s lives. But we mist 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.


Yesterday prosecutors in Kenosha, Wisconsin decided not to file criminal charges against police officers in the August shooting of Jacob Blake. The incident prompted protests in multiple professional sports leagues, including the NBA, last summer.

Given heightened tensions today, we are opting to offer this news as information only, closing the comment section on this post.