Thursday, March 30, 2023

Doc Rivers of 76ers, others around NBA speak out on Capitol riot: ‘imagine if they were black’

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76ers coach Doc Rivers was among members of the NBA community who reacted with revulsion to the assault on the U.S. Capitol by supporters of incumbent President Donald Trump, united in the idea that there would have had a more deadly result if the rioters had been black.

On a dark day for the United States, thousands of Trump supporters descended on Washington for a protest rally, refusing to accept the outcome of the November election that saw Joe Biden come to power.

MORE: Celtics and Heat offer joint statement amid national unrest

Two weeks after Biden’s inauguration, scores of violent protesters breached security and entered the Capitol, causing carnage and destruction as it appeared to be largely unchallenged.

There were a number of casualties, with four dead, including a woman who was shot dead, while reports say a number of explosive devices were discovered.

Here’s how NBA players and coaches reacted to events in Washington on Wednesday:

– Rivers called the insurgency “quite disturbing” but vowed that “democracy will prevail”.

“It shows a lot, however,” Rivers said. “When you saw the [Black Lives Matter] protests of the summer, you saw the riots or more the police and the national guard and the army. And then you see this and you haven’t seen nothing. This basically proves the point about a privileged life in so many ways. I’m going to say this because I don’t think a lot of people want it: can you imagine today if it was all black people who stormed the Capitol and what would have happened?

“So to me it’s a picture that’s worth a thousand words for all of us to see and probably something that we still have to consider.”

– “It’s a shame to see,” said Wizards star Russell Westbrook. “If those roles were reversed, if it was African Americans, black people, it would be totally different.”

He said the chaos was “just crazy, almost like a movie”, and his teammate Bradley Beal agreed that it was difficult to digest the scenes, given his view that the police had taken a much less lenient approach. towards protesters at the Black Lives Matter protests last year.

“It’s very disheartening in a lot of ways – a lack of a sense of urgency to respond to what was going on, compared to the protesters at Black Lives Matter over the summer,” Beal said. “The people invading our Capitol, it’s unheard of and it’s disheartening that we’re here as a country.”

– “You just see the privilege, you see the privilege in America,” said Clippers star Kawhi Leonard. “Sad to see, because if any of us were there I think we would have been tear gas, Maced, probably gunshots, you know?”

– “In an America, you are killed sleeping in your car, selling cigarettes or playing in your backyard,” said Celtics forward Jaylen Brown. “In another America, you get to storm the Capitol, and no tear gas, no mass arrests, none of that.”

– “The police system was built against blacks, blacks and maroons,” said Warriors star Draymond Green. “And that’s the reason these reactions are different. It’s the reason that someone can walk or run or push their way through or whatever in the Speaker’s office and put feet on the desk like they’re sitting at home on their couch, breaking into a building and smashing windows and carrying podiums and everything.

“It’s not a protest. It’s a terrorist attack. Stop using – stop describing these people the same way you describe someone standing right there and singing and saying, ‘We want justice. We want peace. “Stop using the same words. It’s disrespectful. It’s ridiculous and it’s shameful to keep calling them protesters. They are not protesters. They are terrorists.”

– “My thoughts on the situation are simple,” said Pacers goaltender Malcolm Brogdon. “I think if it was black people storming the Capitol, it would end up being the biggest massacre in US history.”

– “A pretty clear reminder that truth matters,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. “We’ve been talking about it for years, but the truth matters in our country, and anywhere under any circumstance, because of the repercussions if we allow the lies to spread.”

– “We see the two different United States we live in,” Heat star Jimmy Butler said. “It’s sad. It really is. It’s sad.”


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