In a move presumably meant as a political statement following a day of violence and unrest at the U.S. Capitol, the Boston Celtics walked off the floor before their game against the Miami Heat on Wednesday night.
ESPN NBA reporter Adrian Wojnarowski reported that the move came after a 45-minute “players-only” meeting:
Celtics players were engaged in a players-only meeting within the last 45 minutes in Miami locker room, source tells ESPN. https://t.co/JTBEk6qHiu
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) January 7, 2021
The game was supposed to begin at 7:30 EST.
NBA teams have used court “walk-offs” as political statements several times in recent history. The Milwaukee Bucks walked-off the floor after the shooting death of Jacob Blake in August.
The move comes as the NBA has taken steps to lessen the league’s involvement with political messaging. Among other things, the league has removed social justice messaging from the courts and player’s uniforms.
However, unlike the protests in the aftermath of the Jacob Blake shooting, the Celtics came back and played their game against the Heat.