Brad Stevens stands on the sideline with a 'racial justice' patch on his shirt

Pregame Post-Ups: Stevens Comments on Breonna Taylor Rulings

Wednesday, September 23 - Game 4 - Celtics at Heat

Pregame – Stevens Comments on Breonna Taylor Rulings

BOSTON – Celtics players and coaches have asked throughout the NBA’s restart for justice for Breonna Taylor. On the day of their Game 4 against the Miami Heat, they found out that they did not get their wish.

It was announced Wednesday afternoon that none of the officers involved in the case would be charged directly with Taylor’s death. The news was, as Brad Stevens said pregame, “demoralizing news.”

“I think that the idea of just going into that apartment doesn’t make any sense,” he said of the case, which involved police entering Taylor’s apartment with a no-knock warrant. “And to have 15 rounds of gun fire fired, five of which hit her, and there to be wanton endangerment – which I didn’t know existed before today – as the charge, it’s tough.”

Stevens said he messaged his entire team with an offer to be their shoulder and ears to lean on after the news came out.

“I just sent them a text mid-day, because everybody’s got their own thing that they do during the day of the game,” he said, “and I just said if you need somebody to vent to, if you need somebody to talk to, or if you want to call or get me in person at the gym, feel free.”

The coach chose to keep any responses to his text private.

Stevens said that after all of the calls for police reform, accountability and transparency that have been heard across the country, today’s news felt like “a setback to that.”

He did, however, point toward some of the good that has come about over the last few months, particularly from the NBA.

“Several organizations, almost every organization, has put together some long-term, long-lasting plans in their own communities. We certainly have,” he said of the Celtics.

Stevens then gave kudos to his Eastern Conference Finals foe, the Heat, for their initiatives.

“I love what the Heat have done, the partnership that they’re taking with the police force there in Miami, and all the different initiatives they take, how hard they fourth for their arena to be a voting place,” said Stevens. “I think that we all have a responsibility to do that. We all feel like that.”

That responsibility has shown to be even more critical following today’s discouraging news. While there has been some positive movement with regard to police brutality, police accountability and social and racial justice, the United States remains far from where it needs to be with relation to those subjects.

- Marc D'Amico

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