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Doc Rivers on storming of U.S. Capitol: 'Could you imagine today, if those were all Black people?'

Jack Baer
·Writer
·4-min read

As the dust was clearing amid the chaos of President Donald Trump’s supporting storming the U.S. Capitol, Philadelphia 76ers head coach Doc Rivers asked a pointed question while speaking with reporters Wednesday.

Rivers, speaking ahead of Wednesday’s game against the Washington Wizards, wanted to know what would have happened if it was a mob of Black people breaching the Capitol, breaking windows and grappling with police.

It’s pretty disturbing, obviously, sad. But what it’s not is — I keep hearing ‘this attack on democracy,’ it’s not. Democracy will prevail. It always does. It shows a lot though. When you saw the protests in summer, you saw the riots or more the police and the national guard and the army. And then you see this and you saw nothing. It basically proves the point about a privileged life in a lot of ways.

I’ll say it because I don’t think a lot of people want to, could you imagine today if those were all Black people storming the Capitol and what would’ve happened? So that to me is a picture that’s worth 1,000 words for all of us to see and probably something for us to reckon with again. No police dogs turned on people, no billy clubs hitting people, people peacefully being escorted out of the Capitol. So it shows that you can disperse a crowd peacefully, I guess, would be the one thing.

But it’s a sad day in a lot of ways, not good for our country, more across the borders, that people see this. But it’s part of what we are and so we have to solve it.

The query came as many on social media noted the difference in reception Trump’s supporters faced compared to peaceful Black Lives Matters protesters last summer, and even a sit-in by disabled people in the same building. Michele Roberts, executive director of the National Basketball Players Association, echoed the sentiment to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

The Capitol was eventually secured over four hours after its breach, with 13 arrests made as of Wednesday evening and one woman shot dead.

PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA - JANUARY 04: Head coach Doc Rivers of the Philadelphia 76ers looks on in a game against the Charlotte Hornets at Wells Fargo Center on January 04, 2021 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)
Doc Rivers believes democracy will prevail despite protests and attacks by Trump supporters. (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)

Rivers has long been among the more politically outspoken coaches in the NBA, discussing at length the shooting of Jacob Blake last summer and openly disregarding Trump’s opposition to the league’s racial justice protests. He wasn’t alone discussing the chaos at the Capitol on Wednesday, as several other NBA coaches — even some who have been hesitant to talk politics in the past — denounced what was happening in D.C.

NBA coaches react to Trump supporters storming Capitol

Among the coaches talking about the storming of the Capitol were Washington Wizards coach Scott Brooks, Atlanta Hawks coach Lloyd Pierce and Boston Celtics coach Brad Stevens:

Many NBA players were speaking out as well, reacting on social media with a mixture of shock, disgust and amusement:

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