Athletes and coaches have reacted online to the shocking images of supporters of President Donald Trump storming the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, the day that President-elect Joe Biden's election victory was expected to be ratified by a ceremonial counting of votes.
By about 2:30pm et, Trump supporters, some armed, had rushed into the building after previously pushing through barricades, forcing both the House and Senate to be evacuated. At least one woman has been shot and killed.
Boston Celtics forward Jaylen Brown spoke about the scenes in Washington following his team's victory over the Miami Heat on Wednesday night, citing the words of Dr. Martin Luther King to compare the situation in the Capitol to the shooting of Jacob Blake and its aftermath.
“In one America, you get killed by sleeping in your car, selling cigarettes or playing in your backyard,” Brown said. “And then in another America, you get to storm the Capitol and no tear gas, no massive arrests, none of that. So I think it’s obvious, it’s 2021, I don’t think anything has changed. We want to still acknowledge that. We want to still push for the change that we’re looking for. But as of yet, we have not seen it. We want to continue to keep conversations alive and do our part.”
Brown's teammate, Jayson Tatum, also weighed in.
“I just feel like the same energy should be kept as when we see our people peacefully protesting for things that we see our people getting murdered on TV and live and videos,” Tatum said. “And they’re protesting the Capitol, or rioting the Capitol for losing an election. It’s two different things. And I want the same energy on TV to be, you know, They’re thugs’ and ‘They’re criminals,’ the same terms that they use when they see our people protesting for losing our lives. I think it’s bigger than basketball, it’s bigger than the game today.”
With the controversial decision not to charge a white police office in the shooting of James Blake, and pro-Trump rioters taking over the Capitol happening within 24 hours, Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green explained why it's a slap in the face to every Black person in America in his postgame media availability.
"It’s shameful to keep calling them protestors," Green said. "They’re not (expletive) protestors. They’re (expletive) terrorists."
"It’s baffling with the reaction that the law enforcement had and whoever else was involved from a authoritarian standpoint to see the National Guard standing on those same steps when there was a peaceful protest and now to see a terrorist attack and there was no National Guard," Green added. "It just goes to show you where this country is and where this country has always been and probably where it’s going to stay, to be quite honest. Nothing’s changed. I think through social media and all of these different things we have at our fingertips today, we’re more aware of things. But nothing has changed. This is the same America that it’s been. It’s no different."
Toronto Raptors guard Kyle Lowry politely declined to answer basketball questions after the team's loss to the Phoenix Suns and instead spoke about an emotional couple of days. "We say 2021 is a new year but the same situations are still prevalent."
Lowry also gave credit to the WNBA for helping with voter turnout in Georgia.
Fred VanVleet also spoke on the last couple of days after the game against the Suns.
"I’m not surprised. If you've been paying attention the last few years, even longer than that, I think we can see what’s going on," VanVleet said. "I grew up in this country so I’m kind of used to it and that’s not a good thing, but it’s the way things are"
"My message to people in my life is just stay together & continue to build as best we can inside this broken system," he added. "It’s a flawed system that preys on the weak & less fortunate & spits them out... America has been racist & it’s probably going to continue to be racist"
Ahead of their game in Phoenix, the Raptors and Suns locked arms together at mid-court during the Canadian and American national anthems.
The Bucks and Pistons took a knee at the start of their game in Milwaukee, a day after prosecutors decided to not file charges against a white police officer who shot Jacob Blake, a Black man, in Kenosha, Wisconsin, on Aug. 23.
Kyle Lowry of the Toronto Raptors and Chris Paul of the Phoenix Suns spoke to each other regarding how to go forward with Wednesday's game between the two clubs.
Raptors head coach Nick Nurse on the riots in D.C.: "Obviously really disturbing. Disturbing, disgusting, incredulous, sad. I think it's sad. It just seems to not stop and it just seems to not improve. That's pretty much my thoughts on it."
The Boston Celtics held a players-only meeting ahead of their game against the Miami Heat Wednesday evening. The two teams released a joint statement prior to the game.
"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 different 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 protestors 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 must not forget the injustices to our society, and we will continue to use our voices and our platform to highlight theses issues and do everything we can to work for a more equal and just America."
Players on both teams also knelt during the American national anthem before the game.
Washington, D.C. mayor Muriel Bowser has issued a citywide curfew set to go into effect at 6pm et as police continue their attempt to sweep Trump supporters out of the Capitol.
A federal law enforcement official tells CNN that Congressional leaders are being evacuated to nearby Fort McNair, a local army base.
After the rioting and attack on democracy in Washington today, there's been no formal discussion between the NBA and NBPA on postponing any of the league's 11 games tonight, sources tell ESPN. The Washington Wizards are set to play the 76ers in Philadelphia.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) January 6, 2021
ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reports that there has not been any formal discussion between the NBA and the NBPA in regards to postponing Wednesday night's 11 games. The Washington Wizards are set to play the Philadelphia 76ers in Philadelphia.
Sixers coach Doc Rivers weighed in with his take.
Doc Rivers on today’s events: “I will say it, because I don’t think a lot of people want to. Can you imagine today, if those were all black people storming the Capitol, and what would have happened? That, to me, is a picture that’s worth a thousand words for all of us to see.” pic.twitter.com/tk9I35Ksgw— Tim Bontemps (@TimBontemps) January 6, 2021
"It's pretty distributing, obviously," Rivers said. "Sad. But what is not is I keep hearing that this is an attack on democracy. It's not. Democracy will prevail. It always does. It shows a lot, though. When you saw the protest in the summer and you saw the riots, or more the police and the national guard and the army, and then you see this and you saw nothing ... it basically proves a point about a privileged life in a lot of ways.
"I will say it because I don't think a lot of people want to. Can you imagine today, if those were all black people storming the Capitol, and what would have happened? That, to me, is a picture that's worth a thousand words for all of us to see, and probably something for us to reckon with again. No police dogs turned on people, no billy cubs hitting people. People peacefully being escorted out of the Capitol. So it shows you can peacefully disperse a crowd, would be the one thing. But it's a sad day, in a lot of ways, not good for our country. More across the borders, that people see this, but it's part of what we are, and so we have to solve it."
NBC reports the person who was shot earlier on Wednesday has died.
ALERT: Person shot at US Capitol today has died, per law enforcement source— Scott MacFarlane (@MacFarlaneNews) January 6, 2021
An absolute disgrace what’s happening at the US Capitol right now. And a blatant example of inequity in how law enforcement chooses to deal with those involved. 🗑🗑🗑— Kevin Love (@kevinlove) January 6, 2021
"An absolute disgrace what's happening at the US Capitol right now," tweeted Cleveland Cavaliers star Kevin Love. "And a blatant example of inequity in how law enforcement chooses to deal with those involved."
How would you classify these people at the Capitol? Protesters? Rioters? Domestic terrorists? Anarchists? Violent extremists?— Stan Van Gundy (@realStanVG) January 6, 2021
"How would you classify these people at the Capitol?" asked New Orleans Pelicans head coach Stan Van Gundy. "Protesters? Rioters? Domestic terrorists? Anarchists? Violent extremists?"
When violence is called for you must be prepared for it. When you are sworn in as a leader you are accepting the responsibility to lead. Leadership comes with responsibility and today our leaders failed us.— Billy King (@bkdefend) January 6, 2021
"When violence is called for, you must be prepared for it," wrote former Philadelphia 76ers president Billy King. "When you are sworn in as a leader, you are accepting the responsibility to lead. Leadership comes with responsibility and today our leaders failed us."
Black people get pulled over and don’t make it out alive. We can’t sleep in our own beds without being killed. We can’t jog without being killed. We can’t walk down the street with our hoodies up without being killed but they can do this??? https://t.co/j59OMKw4LO— DWade (@DwyaneWade) January 6, 2021
"Black people get pulled over and don't make it out alive," Miami Heat legend Dwyane Wade wrote, quote-tweeting a photo of armed protestors in the Capitol building. "We can't sleep in our own beds without being killed. We can't jog without being killed. We can't walk down the street with our hoodies up without being killed, but they can do this???"
Our heads woulda been blown off already.... This is crazy— Isaiah Thomas (@isaiahthomas) January 6, 2021
"Our heads woulda been blow off already...This is crazy," tweeted free-agent guard Isaiah Thomas.
We Wouldn’t Have Even Made It Down The Street!!!! 🤯🤯🤯🤯— Jarvis Juice Landry (@God_Son80) January 6, 2021
"We wouldn't have even made it down the street!!!!" tweeted Cleveland Browns wide receiver Jarvis Landry.
A game scheduled for Wednesday night between UMass and nearby George Washington has been called off.
Just spoke to GW coach Jamion Christian. Said both he and UMass coach Matt McCall agreed to call tonight’s game off for the concern, safety and mental health of the players.— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanHoops) January 6, 2021
Jeff Goodman of STADIUM reports that he spoke to George Washington head coach Jamion Christian and said the decision to cancel the game was made after a conversation with his UMass counterpart Matt McCall "for the concern, safety and mental health of the players."