The Cleveland Cavaliers and the Memphis Grizzlies displayed a true act of solidarity before engaging in a competitive basketball game on Thursday. Acknowledging that the social issues happening in the US are bigger than basketball, the Cavs and Grizz took a stand to denounce the violence sparked by Donald Trump supporters' attack at the US Capitol on Wednesday.
Both squads agreed to delay the opening tip and stepped out of the playing court. Players and coaches from the Cavs and Grizzlies locked arms and took a knee in protest of the riot. Here's the powerful moment inside the FedEx Forum.
The Grizzlies and Cavs walked off the court before tipoff to link arms and take a knee.
— Dime (@DimeUPROXX) January 8, 2021
This Cavs – Grizzlies moment wasn't the first time the league has used its platform in its bid to fight social injustice. The Boston Celtics and Miami Heat also took a knee during the national anthem prior to their match on Wednesday. The other teams scheduled to play followed suit to denounce the acts by the MAGA supporters who wished to disrupt President-elect Joe Biden's ceremonial counting of votes.
While the NBA is no longer inside the bubble this season, it's nice to see teams such as the Cavs and Grizzlies continue making a stand against social injustice. The league was praised last season for empowering the Black Lives Matter movement throughout their stay at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. Multiple players also recently voiced out their opposition behind the Kenosha County District Attorney's decision to dismiss charges against officer Rusten Sheskey for shooting Jacob Blake back in August.
The Grizzlies (2-5) and the Cavs (4-4), meanwhile, both look to bounce back after suffering defeats in their last respective outings. Memphis and Cleveland, like most of the rest of the NBA, are trying to find their footing in the league given the unusual circumstances surrounding what is a second pandemic season for the Association, but the first one which started during the pandemic and is being carried out in NBA arenas, not a one-city bubble in Orlando.