Celtics, Heat make pregame statement on recent societal events

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Boston Celtics players and their peers around the NBA have been among the leading voices in the fight for racial and social justice in the United States..

Before playing Wednesday night's game in Miami, Celtics and Heat players released a joint statement on the events of the last few days.

Here is the statement in full:

"2021 is a new year, but some things have not changed. We play tonight's game with a heavy heart after yesterday's decision in Kenosha, and knowing that protesters in our nation's capital are treated differently by political leaders depending on what side of certain issues they are on. The drastic difference between the way protesters this past spring and summer were treated and the encouragement given to today's protestors who acted illegally just shows you how much more work we have to do.

"We have decided to play tonight's game to try to bring joy into people's lives. But we must not forget the injustices in our society, and we will continue to use our voices and our platform to highlight these issues and do everything we can to work for a more equal and just America. #BlackLivesStillMatter"

Players and coaches from both the Celtics and Heat knelt during the playing of the Star-Spangled Banner before the game in a show of solidarity in the fight for equality.