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Wizards speak up on Baltimore riots

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Wizards speak up on Baltimore riots

In the midst of watching, cheering and banging on the glass during the Capitals series-clinching win on Monday, members of the Wizards could not ignore the reports of unrest coming out of Baltimore.

Via his Twitter account, John Wall spoke out against the violence. 

Paul Pierce also expressed concern and the need for calm over social media and following practice on Tuesday.

"I just think it’s really upsetting when you see a community just go out and burn down stores and trash cars. Those are some  of the things that I saw on the news but I also saw some positive things. Some of the people rallying together for a cause," he said.

Pierce, 37, grew up in Los Angeles. He was 14 when riots broke out in the area.

"It’s funny because I sent out on Twitter yesterday that it reminded me of the LA riots. I was living in LA during that time when we were tearing up our own community and it really didn’t have a cause. It really didn’t serve a purpose. At the end of the day, the riots were all over and you looked up and the stores that we go to weren’t there anymore. It’s pretty much a lot of vandalism and it really didn’t help the cause.  So I understand the mindset but it really isn’t helping the cause when you destroy the things in the places that we know and that we live in. So the people of Baltimore, I just wish there could be some resolve to this."

Wizards coach Randy Wittman was asked about the turbulent scene.

"It's tough. it's sad to watch that," the head coach said. "There is a lot of things that go on that need to be addressed, looked at. Continue to grow as a group of people no matter what your background is. Being able to get along. It's hard to watch when your neighborhood is torched or destroyed because of something that that neighborhood really had nothing to do with. That' the hard thing. Guys that work hard to have a business and then it's taken away from you in a matter of minutes. That's hard to look at.

"I'm all for protests. That's part of who we are. Stating what your beliefs are. You just hope it can be in a peaceful way. I hope that gets rectified.

Rasual Butler joined Pierce, Wall and Marcin Gortat along the boards for Game 7, his first ever hockey game. He also joined his teammates in stating concern for the people and neighborhoods in Baltimore.

"It was just really disturbing," Butler said Tuesday. "I understand the anger. I just don't understand the way they're going about displaying their anger. It's almost like rage now because it's uncontrolled anger. Tearing up your own property, it doesn't make sense to do that. But, I understand where they're coming from. They're upset, they're angry. They want answers. Justice needs to be a real thing in our society. Right now, I don't think it is because of the way that people, particularly of color are being treated by people who are supposed to serve and protect. It's not OK."

MORE WIZARDS: Paul Pierce on Deron Williams' Game 2 outburst: 'It's great'

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Warriors will visit D.C. kids instead of White House when they play Wizards

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Warriors will visit D.C. kids instead of White House when they play Wizards

Instead of visiting the White House when they come to Washington this week to play the Wizards, the defending-champion Golden State Warriors plan to hold an event with D.C.-area kids.

Their invitation was rescinded by president Donald Trump following a back-and-forth between the two sides last year. After the Warriors won the title, they openly questioned whether they should follow the tradition given many of the players and coaches disagree with his policies. Trump took the opportunity away before they came to a final decision.

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The Warriors' event will be closed off to the media and held at an undisclosed location. It is set for Tuesday, the day before they play the Wizards at Capital One Arena. The Warriors had the option of holding a ceremony with other politicians in the Democratic party, but decided that would send the wrong message. 

"It's their championship. They got disinvited to the White House, so it's up to them what they wanted to do. So they made their plans," coach Steve Kerr said. "I want the players to have a good day and to do something positive and to enjoy what they're doing."

The Warriors are the first NBA team to make this choice since Trump was elected president. Last season, the Cleveland Cavaliers held their celebration with president Barack Obama in November. They did so just days after Trump was elected and LeBron James questioned at the time whether he would visit the White House with Trump in office.

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Sports teams visiting the White House goes back to the mid-1800s. The first World Series title team to visit was the 1924 Washington Senators. By the 1960s, NBA teams were going and by the 1980s NFL and NHL teams made it a tradition.

Entire teams snubbing the White House is unusual, but many players have turned down the opportunity. In the NBA, some famous cases include Larry Bird in 1984 and Michael Jordan in 1991, according to Rolling Stone.

Perhaps the Warriors start a trend, or maybe it will be a one-off thing. Regardless, the alternative they chose is a respectable one. 

RELATED: LATEST NBA POWER RANKINGS

 

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5 must-see moments from Wizards' blowout loss to Hornets, including Bradley Beal's buzzer-beater

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5 must-see moments from Wizards' blowout loss to Hornets, including Bradley Beal's buzzer-beater

Here are the five best plays or moments from the Wizards' 122-105 loss to the Charlotte Hornets on Friday night...

1. This was a tough one for the Wizards. For the third time this season, they got beaten by the Hornets and for the second straight time it was in a blowout.

They still had their moments, though, including this alley-oop from Tomas Satoransky (11 points) to Markieff Morris (13 points, eight assists, six rebounds). It was the second alley-oop connection for those two in as many games:

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2. This was a play that encapsulated the Wizards' night. Jodie Meeks drew a flagrant foul on Michael Carter-Williams, but took a hard shot to the head:

3. Kelly Oubre, Jr. had a solid game with 11 points, including this big dunk:

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4. Speaking of Oubre, he helped the Wizards close the first half with a late surge. The real highlight was Bradley Beal stealing the ball and hitting a corner three at the buzzer:

5. Beal ended up with 33 points, six assists and six rebounds. Here's an and-1 he got to go down in the second half:

All in all, it was an ugly performance for the Wizards. To cheer you up, we'll leave you with this young fan who had a great time at Capital One Arena despite the result:

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