The teams chose to play their scheduled game, but are silently protesting the events of the last couple of days. On Tuesday, prosecutors declined to charge the Kenosha officer who shot Jacob Blake back in August. And earlier on Wednesday, a group of Trump supporters breached the U.S. Capitol.
Many are frustrated at the lack of force used against those who stormed the government building. Especially in comparison to the way social justice protestors over the summer were treated.
ESPN reporter Malika Andrews shared a photo that looks like every player on both the Warriors and Clippers kneeled for the anthem. In addition, Andrews shared that the Warriors all wore Black Lives Matter shirts during their warm-ups.
“After a pro-Trump mob stormed the U.S. Capitol earlier today, the Clippers and Warriors kneel during the playing of the National Anthem here in Chase Center. The Warriors are wearing Black Lives Matter T-shirts,” Andrews posted on Twitter.
Additionally, the Warriors organization showed unity with the players by posting a short clip of the national anthem protests. The team’s official Twitter account shared the video and added a heart emoji as its caption.
National Anthem Protests Sweep the League
Earlier in the night, the Miami Heat and Boston Celtics both took a knee during the pregame national anthem as well. Reports stated that the Celtics held a team meeting prior to tip-off. The team decided to play, but joined the Heat in kneeling as a sign of solidarity against the issues of the past two days.
Reporter Ira Winderman who covers the Heat shared a short video of the two teams kneeling during the national anthem. Heat center Meyers Leonard was the lone player to stand for the anthem. He also stood during protests in the NBA Bubble this past season to honor his brother who is a Marine.
Boston and Miami shared a joint statement that gave further reasoning behind their choice to play on Wednesday night.
“2021 is a new year, but some things have not changed,” the joint statement read. “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 work we have to do,” they added.