Rivers discusses D.C. events: 'Can you imagine' response if rioters were Black?
As NBA teams prepared for Wednesday's 11-game slate, the focus remained largely affixed to the ongoing events in Washington, D.C., where loyalists of outgoing President Donald Trump breached the U.S. Capitol in violent protest, disrupting the certification of President-elect Joe Biden.
Philadelphia 76ers head coach Doc Rivers drew comparisons between Wednesday's events and the response by law enforcement agencies to nationwide protests for social and racial justice last summer.
"It's pretty (disturbing), obviously," Rivers told reporters Wednesday, according to ESPN's Tim Bontemps. "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 (today) 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."
The 76ers are scheduled to face the Washington Wizards at home Wednesday night, one of three games set to commence shortly after 7 p.m. ET.
Wizards coach Scott Brooks called the events in the team's home city "disgusting" and "a disgrace," adding that people "should not be allowed to get into the Capitol and do what I saw today," according to The Athletic's Fred Katz.
However, Brooks said he expects the Wizards to play on Wednesday.
"We have to," he said, per the Associated Press' Dan Gelston. "It's our job. It's a couple of hours out of the day."
There had been no discussions between the NBA or the National Basketball Players Association about suspending play Wednesday night, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported approximately 90 minutes before game time.
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