Philadelphia 76ers coach Doc Rivers called Wednesday’s mob attack on the U.S. Capitol disturbing. Washington Wizards coach Scott Brooks called it a disgrace.
Coaches in two historic U.S. cities both used the word sad.
The Wizards and Sixers were scheduled for a 7 p.m. tip in Philadelphia on Wednesday, and both coaches spoke to reporters before the game.
Rivers took note of the way rioters who stormed the Capitol were treated.
“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,” Rivers said. “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 clubs hitting people. People peacefully being escorted out of the Capitol. So it shows you can peacefully disperse a crowd.”
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Philadelphia 76ers head coach Doc Rivers called the riots at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday "disturbing." (Photo: Bill Streicher, USA TODAY Sports)
Brooks lives and works just blocks from the Capitol. When he was the coach of the Oklahoma City Thunder, he appreciated his visits to the nation’s capital. He spent either off days or time before the game walking the city, taking in the history that is there.
“D.C. is special place. … This should not be allowed. It’s unacceptable,” he said. “Our country needs to be better. Has to be better.”
NBA coaches have worked to bring social and racial justice, especially during the pandemic in 2020. It has been an effort to admonish President Donald Trump and his actions.
Atlanta Hawks coach Lloyd Pierce, who is the chair of the Coaches for Racial Justice, wasn't surprised.
"It’s not unexpected," Pierce said. "It’s tragic in nature. It’s sad honestly. It’s a sad reality. That’s really what it is. It’s unfortunate that is what we’re looking at in our country after the year we’ve been through. But it’s not unexpected. A day for someone like me, an African American man who really look at the state in Georgia and you see someone like Raphael Warnock become the first African American man from the state of Georgia representing the state of Georgia and going to the senate, and you see the following day this is the reaction. This is a reality.
"There’s no coincidence that this is the reaction to all the events going on with regards to what has happened on a very promising election yesterday. The people of Georgia came out and voted. African Americans, in the state of Georgia, voted at higher rate than they did in the Nov. 3 election. They spoke up for this state and for this country. We live in a divided country. We can say it’s power and politics. But it’s race as well. Today is a reflection, and it’s a truth.
"No one wants to see a federal building being destroyed because of divisiveness, politics and race. But we’re seeing it. So now what do we do? I’ve said all along that after Nov. 3, it was great. Everybody wanted people to vote. But after Nov. 3, what are we going to do as a country? What am I going to do as a coach? What are we going to do as an organization?"
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Celtics coach Brad Stevens also used powerful words.
"We all hope that the people we elect to lead us, are supposed to be modeling leadership, will do so in a way that in a way that is motivated by serving others by showing compassion, by acting gracefully,” Stevens said. “Instead, we elected a president, who luckily is on his way out, and others who have not shown that kind of grace. It has been consistent and operated at a win-at-all-costs attitude. I’ve always felt that if you operated at a win at all costs attitude, it’s going to be an unfulfilling ending. In this case, it’s a disgraceful ending.
"So I’m looking forward to two weeks from now, and I know a lot of other people are, too.”
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