As the dust was clearing amid the chaos of President Donald Trump’s supporting storming the U.S. Capitol, Philadelphia 76ers head coach Doc Rivers asked a pointed question while speaking with reporters Wednesday.
Rivers, speaking ahead of Wednesday’s game against the Washington Wizards, wanted to know what would have happened if it was a mob of Black people breaching the Capitol, breaking windows and grappling with police.
It’s pretty disturbing, obviously, sad. But what it’s not is — I keep hearing ‘this attack on democracy,’ it’s not. Democracy will prevail. It always does. It shows a lot though. When you saw the protests in summer, 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 the point about a privileged life in a lot of ways.
I’ll say it because I don’t think a lot of people want to, could you imagine today if those were all Black people storming the Capitol and what would’ve happened? So that to me is a picture that’s worth 1,000 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 that you can disperse a crowd peacefully, I guess, 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.
The query came as many on social media noted the difference in reception Trump’s supporters faced compared to peaceful Black Lives Matters protesters last summer, and even a sit-in by disabled people in the same building. Michele Roberts, executive director of the National Basketball Players Association, echoed the sentiment to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
The Capitol was eventually secured over four hours after its breach, with 13 arrests made as of Wednesday evening and one woman shot dead.
Rivers has long been among the more politically outspoken coaches in the NBA, discussing at length the shooting of Jacob Blake last summer and openly disregarding Trump’s opposition to the league’s racial justice protests. He wasn’t alone discussing the chaos at the Capitol on Wednesday, as several other NBA coaches — even some who have been hesitant to talk politics in the past — denounced what was happening in D.C.
NBA coaches react to Trump supporters storming Capitol
Wizards Coach Scott Brooks on the situation in DC: "It's sad. We should be better than this. It's disgusting. It's a special place, and you just hope that everybody from there, our fans, are safe. ...You should not be able to do what I saw on video."
— Ava Wallace (@avarwallace) January 6, 2021
Hawks coach Lloyd Pierce on the contrast between how police handled today's rioters and peaceful protestors this summer, and what it will take the change the racist double standard pic.twitter.com/A56YSotJLs
— Mark Medina (@MarkG_Medina) January 6, 2021
Brad Stevens full reaction to today's events in Washington. This was the most direct Stevens has been politically. pic.twitter.com/5JUPGLhzAh
— John Karalis 🇬🇷 (@RedsArmy_John) January 6, 2021
Many NBA players were speaking out as well, reacting on social media with a mixture of shock, disgust and amusement:
There is literally a tweet for everything. Cat got your tongue today huh? https://t.co/yKd8dgm2wn
Awww she couldn’t believe she got maced breaking into the capital. Poor Elizabeth https://t.co/aFkqBcsUcp
— DWade (@DwyaneWade) January 6, 2021
— JJJ (@jarenjacksonjr) January 6, 2021
WOW.. SPEECHLESS.! U THINK IF THE BLACKLIVES MATTER MOVEMENT GOT THIS FAR IT WOULD STILL BE NO INJURIES OR DEATH.!? 🤔 https://t.co/GRiSzUQ5NC
How long would it take to deploy the National Guard if they were black & how many would be dead? This is NOT#America! A sitting #President did this @realDonaldTrump #Coward & yes that is a #Confederate flag outside the Senate chamber. How did they not know this would happen? pic.twitter.com/MNgFZIthJ2
— TheBillRussell (@RealBillRussell) January 6, 2021
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