“If it had been blacks”: Stars criticize police after Capitol storm

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“If it had been blacks”
Stars criticize police after Capitol storm

Hardly any other league in US sport has advocated change in society and condemned racism as much since the spring as the NBA. The basketball players in particular are now shocked by the storm on the Capitol and are particularly angry about the circumstances.

US athletes reacted with horror to the storm of supporters of the elected US President Donald Trump on the Capitol in Washington and denounced an obvious inequality of treatment. In contrast to the security of the government buildings in the summer because of the demonstrations under the motto “Black Lives Matter”, he had seen neither the army nor the National Guard, said the coach of the Philadelphia 76ers, Doc Rivers, before the home game against the Washington Wizards.

“This is evidence of a privileged life in many ways,” said Rivers. “Can you imagine today what would have happened if it had all been black people who stormed the Capitol?” Asked Rivers. “No police dogs that were used against people, no batons that hit people. People who are peacefully escorted out of the Capitol. So that shows that a lot can be broken up peacefully.”

“Embarrassing and shameful” said the coach of the New Orleans Pelicans, Stan Van Gundy, the storm on the Capitol in an interview with the news agency AP. Orlando Magic coach Steve Clifford said: “Our country is laughed at all over the world. From how we dealt with the pandemic to now (…) it’s a sad day for everyone.”

Symbolic actions before NBA games

The basketball professionals of the Boston Celtics around national player Daniel Theis and runner-up Miami Heat knelt while playing the national anthem before the game. In addition, the players published a joint statement. “The drastic difference between the way protesters were treated last spring and summer and the encouragement given to protesters today who have acted illegally shows how much more work we have to do,” it said.

“They worked with a ‘win-at-any-price’ attitude,” said Celtics coach Brad Stevens, criticizing the Trump administration. It will come to a bad end with the government, which he is looking forward to, said the NBA coach. After the 107-105 victory, Celtics star Jaylen Brown initially didn’t say a word about the game, but spoke of the unequal treatment of white and black Americans.

The Milwaukee Bucks and Detroit Pistons players went to one knee after the jump ball and repeated the gesture a second time after changing possession. The Phoenix Suns and Toronto Raptors hooked each other in a large circle at the anthem, before the duel between the Golden State Warriors and the Los Angeles Clippers, the teams also went on one knee. “They’re not bloody protesters, they’re bloody terrorists,” said Warrior Draymond Green.

Criticism of the security forces

US soccer player Megan Rapinoe and gymnast Simone Biles shared several tweets criticizing the behavior of the security forces compared to their handling of the protests against racism and police violence. Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson appealed that the US “must come together as a nation”. Eleven NBA games were scheduled for Wednesday, and each game was played to the end. It is still unclear whether the teams that kneeled during the anthem would have to fear a punishment. For decades, the NBA has had a rule that players and coaches must stand when playing the national anthem.

The attack on the Capitol took place after the incumbent US President Donald Trump made an appearance in front of his supporters and encouraged them to march to the House of Parliament – albeit peacefully. There, Congress was supposed to certify the results of the presidential election, in which Trump was defeated by Democrat Joe Biden. Trump claims he was robbed of victory by massive election fraud. There is no evidence of this.

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