Several American sports stars have expressed their dismay after the U.S. Capitol was stormed on Wednesday. Prominent figures in the NBA were quick to point out the differences to the Black Lives Matter protests.
With words and actions, several American stars from a variety of sports shared their dismay after a violent mob loyal to President Donald Trump was able to storm the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday.
In the NBA, the Miami Heat and Boston Celtics released a joint statement saying they were playing "with a heavy heart” in a game where most players and coaches knelt for the national anthem.
In addition, the players released a joint statement. "The drastic difference between the way protesters were treated last spring and summer and the encouragement for protesters today who acted illegally shows how much more work we have to do," it said.
Philadelphia 76ers coach Doc Rivers remarked on the stark contrast between rallies across America last summer that often included violent skirmishes between protesters and police and what he watched at the Capitol on Wednesday.
"Can you imagine what would have happened if that was all black people storming the Capitol today?" Rivers said before the game against the Washington Wizards. "The symbolism of storming the Capitol without force done to them, if you're a Black American, it definitely touches you in a different way. This is not a Black thing. This is an American thing.''
Elsewhere, U.S. soccer player Megan Rapinoe and gymnast Simone Biles shared several tweets criticizing the behavior of security forces compared to their handling of protests against racism and police violence. Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson appealed that the U.S. "needs to come together as a nation."
Earlier in the day at the Capitol, a mob delayed Congress from certifying the results of November's election to pave the way for President-elect Joe Biden to be sworn in later this month.
"Our country is being laughed at all over the world, from how we handled the pandemic to what's happening now," Orlando Magic coach Steve Clifford said, "It's a sad day for everybody."