Celtics guard Marcus Smart declined to take questions during his Zoom conference call with the media on Tuesday, instead focusing on Breonna Taylor, the Louisville woman who was killed by police on March 13.
“Before we start, guys, my answer is going to be ‘Justice for Breonna Taylor,’ ” Smart said. “That’s going to be my answer for everything, so I’m just letting you guys know that now. Justice for Breonna Taylor.”
A reporter asked Smart if that would be his response to a question about the team’s defense, and Smart said that it would, replying, “Justice for Breonna Taylor.”
Here is Marcus Smart's entire media availability. "Justice for Breonna Taylor." pic.twitter.com/q2IsMENjbs— Chris Grenham (@chrisgrenham) July 21, 2020
Smart then acknowledged that he joined other NBA players on a recent Zoom call with Taylor’s mother, Tamika Palmer, but he did not elaborate.
Taylor, 26, was killed after police entered her home with a no-knock warrant that was issued because it was believed the home was being used to receive packages containing drugs. Police opened fire after Taylor’s boyfriend fired a shot because he believed his home was being broken into. The officers were in plain clothes.
None of the three officers involved in Taylor’s death are facing criminal charges, and one has been fired.
NBA players made it clear before going to Orlando to resume the season that they would not let the momentum behind the nation’s social justice conversation subside. In recent days, Sixers forward Tobias Harris and Nuggets forward Jerami Grant also shifted their interview sessions toward bringing awareness to Taylor’s death.
Breonna Taylor’s life matters the whole department should be held accountable https://t.co/4x6jjPL0Fv— Jaylen Brown (@FCHWPO) July 19, 2020
And on Sunday, Celtics forward Jaylen Brown finished his regular Zoom interview and then sat back down in his chair and said he wanted to speak about Taylor.
“We see the improvements being made, but also like continuing to have people speak on these things, continuing to have them talk about them is important,” Brown said, in part. “For us, equality is a demand, and Blacks Lives Matter. And Breonna Taylor is an example of a black life who was taken because of how the system has been laid out. And we’re going to continue to protest and continue to feel some type of way about it. It’s unfortunate, but I think these conversations need to continue to be had, for sure.”
Adam Himmelsbach can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @adamhimmelsbach.