Teams kneel on the court in Orlando before the national anthem is performed

Pregame Post-Ups: Stevens Explains Reasoning Behind Protests

Friday, July 31 - Celtics at Bucks

Pregame – Stevens Expects Teams to Kneel, Explains Reasoning Behind Protest

BOSTON – Brad Stevens expects both the Celtics and the Bucks to kneel before the national anthem is performed at tonight’s anticipated matchup, he revealed before the game.

Stevens explained the reasoning behind the peaceful protest, which was first adopted by the New Orleans Pelicans and the Utah Jazz during Thursday night’s initial NBA restart game.

“I think that the reality is that we want to take a knee because we care,” Stevens said. “We want to take a knee because we’re pushing for a higher ideal of equality, more justice. And we want to make sure we do our part in that.”

There are certainly US citizens who disapprove of any peaceful protest during the anthem. To that group, Stevens did his best to explain the reasoning behind the NBA’s actions.

“I think it’s really important, and I heard LeBron (James) say this last night: this isn’t about the flag. This isn’t about the troops,” said Stevens. “In fact, we’re so thankful that our military has allowed us the freedom to do this… to show that we care, to show that we are pushing for a more equal, more just United States. And I think we owe that to all of those people that have sacrificed over time to do our part to make sure that we’re all living up to those ideals that we espoused.”

Some around the nation have celebrated the unison of the NBA and the peaceful protest that was displayed Thursday night and is expected to continue tonight. Others have criticized it. Stevens and the Celtics are certainly a part of the former group.

“I thought that last night was powerful,” he said, “and I know that we’re looking forward to that tonight.”

- Marc D'Amico

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