Hours after a violent pro-Donald Trump mob stormed the U.S. Capitol building on Wednesday, the Warriors and Los Angeles Clippers took a knee during the national anthem and played ball.
While some might think not playing was the answer, Warriors forward Draymond Green disagrees with that thought.
"That's not the answer," Green said. "There's always this cry on, 'Cancel the NBA game. Protest the game. Don't play.' But if we're going to protest these games and not play, everyone has to be on the same (wavelength). Oh, the NBA canceled the game and didn't play, but everyone else just goes to work? I mean that's not the answer in my opinion. The NBA is doing what the NBA can. We speak up, we do all the things everyone has been doing. But at some point, we need lawmakers to change laws. The policing system was built against Black people, Black and brown people. And that's the reason those reactions are different.
"That's the reason someone can walk or run or bust their way through or whatever into the Speaker of the House’s office and put their feet on their desk like they’re sitting at home on her couch. And nothing happens."
Clippers forwards Paul George and Marcus Morris aren't sure playing was the correct course of action given the severity of the moment.
"My personal opinion: That wasn't enough," Morris said of kneeling, via ESPN's Malika Andrews. "I thought we shouldn't have played."
George can see the benefit of playing and wanting to give people a distraction, but he would have been OK with not playing.
"I would have been all for the league just shutting down," George said, via ESPN. "I think this was something that definitely should have been addressed. But there's a middle line to it, a fine line because it does give some positivity with people being able to watch games and ... change what people are feeling, thinking and ultimately what's on TV. It's bittersweet, but I definitely would have been all for if the league shut down today to kind of just bring light to what's really going on in the world."
Morris acknowledged that the teams didn't discuss not playing.
Teams made statements throughout the league Wednesday night. The Boston Celtics and Miami Heat left the court during warmups and took a knee before the game. The Milwaukee Bucks and Detroit Pistons went through with tip-off, knocked the ball out of bounds and took a knee as one.
Green went on to say that those who overran the Capitol to object to President Donald Trump losing the election to Joe Biden should not be referred to as protestors because that's not what they are.
"Protests are what you saw when we saw 500 National Guard members standing on those same steps when there were Black and Brown people saying, 'We want to be treated equally,' " Green said. "That's a protest. Storming into a building and busting out windows and carrying out podiums, that's not a protest. That's a terrorist attack. So stop. Stop describing these people as the same as someone who stands there and says, 'We want justice. We want peace.' Stop using the same word it's disrespectful. It's ridiculous to call them protestors. They're not protestors. They are f-----g terrorists."
On Wednesday morning, President Trump urged his supporters to not accept the results of the election and to march on the Capitol to get Republican lawmakers to object during the counting of the electoral college vote.
Warriors head coach Steve Kerr thought the events were the result of four years of lies during the Trump administration.
"A legitimate election is suddenly questioned by millions of people, including many of the people who are leading our country in government, because we've decided to -- over the last few years -- allow lies to be told. So, this is who we are. You reap what you sow," Kerr said.
All 1,100 D.C. National Guard members were eventually activated Wednesday and a curfew was set from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. Both houses of Congress reconvened and finished the electoral college count, announcing Biden as the winner and the president-elect.
While the NBA played Wednesday, the scenes of a white mob overtaking the Capitol with Confederate and Nazi flags was a reminder of the stark contrast of how law enforcement responded to the protests against racial injustice over the summer and how they reacted to an insurrection in the Capitol.
"It reminds me of what Dr. Martin Luther King has said, that there's two split different Americas," Celtics forward Jaylen Brown said. "In one America, you get killed by sleeping in your car, selling cigarettes or playing in your backyard. And then in another America, you get to storm the Capitol and no tear gas, no massive arrests, none of that. So, I think it's obvious: It's 2021 -- I don't think anything has changed. We want to still acknowledge that. We want to still push for the change that we're looking for.
"But as of yet, we have not seen it. We want to continue to keep conversations alive and do our part."