Boston Celtics players and coaches bowed their heads and locked arms Tuesday in a show of unity during the national anthem of their preseason opener against the Philadelphia 76ers, at the Mullins Center at UMASS-Amherst.
“We feel we have to make a statement and we want it to be positive,” forward Jae Crowder said, according to CSNNE’s Abby Chin. “I just think unity and togetherness is what we want to build on.”
The Houston Rockets, New York Knicks, Sacramento Kings, Los Angeles Lakers and Toronto Raptors have made similar pregame gestures in recent days.
The shows of unity come after San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick contributed to a tense national dialogue about race by sitting during the national anthem.
The Celtics' choice to interlock arms was an homage to the 1960-61 team, which made a similar gesture amid the Civil Rights movement.