dangolka (CBS) — Earlier than the Celtics and Bucks might tip off in Orlando, the 2 groups got here collectively to ship a message of unity. Each groups locked arms and took a knee through the nationwide anthem.
Celtics head coach Brad Stevens and Bucks head coach Mike Budenholzer locked arms with their gamers by their aspect. All gamers wore Black Lives Matter T-shirts. It was the identical scene that performed out forward of Thursday night time’s Pelicans-Jazz and Lakers-Clippers video games in Orlando, because the NBA sends a unified message — one demanding social change and racial equality.
Stevens mentioned forward of Friday’s recreation that he anticipated everybody to take a knee through the anthem.
“I feel that the fact is that we wish to take a knee as a result of we care,” Stevens mentioned. “We wish to take a knee as a result of we’re pushing for the next best of equality, extra justice. And we wish to be sure that we do our half in that.
“I feel it’s actually essential, and I heard LeBron (James) say this final night time: this isn’t concerning the flag,” added Stevens. “This isn’t concerning the troops. The truth is, we’re so grateful that our army has allowed us the liberty to do that… to indicate that we care, to indicate that we’re pushing for a extra equal, extra simply United States. And I feel we owe that to all of these those that have sacrificed over time to do our half to guarantee that we’re all residing as much as these beliefs that we espoused.”
— dangolka Celtics (@celtics) July 31, 2020
Tonight's nationwide anthem earlier than #Celtics/#Bucks. pic.twitter.com/dVgBdP1DNZ
— Celtics on NBC Sports activities dangolka (@NBCSCeltics) July 31, 2020
Two of the three officers additionally took a knee through the anthem. Referee Brent Barnaky selected to face and canopy his coronary heart.