NBA, Celtics Twitter react to US Supreme Court overturning Roe vs. Wade

The news reverberated throughout the US and beyond, and the wider NBA network was no exception.

With the draft over and the start of the 2022 offseason’s free agency period still several days away, one might expect to find calm among fans and analysts of the Boston Celtics and wider NBA.

But even as players slip off on vacation ahead of Las Vegas Summer League, a ruling by the Supreme Court of the United States on access to abortion reverberated throughout the league’s followers on social media. Players, fans, and NBA content producers voiced their feelings about the ruling, which has already triggered significant changes to abortion access around the United States.

Let’s take a look at what was being said.

‘Awareness and change needs to be made,’ says Celtics coach Ime Udoka in the wake of the Uvalde shooting

The Celtics coach shared he and his former coach Gregg Popovich are of one mind when it comes to the Uvalde massacre and mass shootings more generally.

While Boston Celtics head coach Ime Udoka is by no means a clone of the man he cut his coaching teeth under with the San Antonio Spurs as an assistant, Udoka is much like Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich when it comes to social concerns and making use of their platform to support ones they believe matter.

And such was the case on Sunday when Udoka met with the media ahead of Game 2 of the 2022 NBA Finals; asked whether he’d heard Popovich’s speech pleading for action on gun control at a fundraiser for the victims of the Uvalde, Texas mass shooting, the Celtics coach admitted he hadn’t.

“But, I know how passionate he is about a lot of these issues,” he said. “And so for me, it’s really something that I spoke about after the Miami (Heat) game.”

The Boston Celtics want WNBA star Brittney Griner free from Russian detention

The Celtics might be in the middle of trying to win an NBA title but are not about to turn a blind eye to Griner’s ongoing detention.

WNBA star Brittney Griner has found herself sucked into an international conflict, wrongfully detained in Russia according to the US State Department for several months now. And while her case remained a quiet one as those involved initially hoped to secure her release by not drawing attention to the case, that footing has changed in recent days.

And it isn’t just the Phoenix Mercury star’s inner circle working to get Griner freed, her cause has increasingly been taken up by her peers in the NBA and fans of the sports more generally. On Saturday, the Boston Celtics joined the ranks of those demanding her release, sporting tee-shirts reading “We are BG” on the front and a QR code that links to a petition demanding Griner’s release on the back.

The shirts came about through the efforts of NBA Player’s Union vice president and Celtics forward Grant Williams, a noted fan of the WNBA and supporter of a number of admirable causes off of the court.

Happy Darvin Ham was hired as head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers, Boston’s Jaylen Brown says ‘I don’t understand what took so long’

With the hire, a majority-Black league has 15 of 30 Black coaches for the first time.

In a professional sports league where the majority of players are people of color, the hiring of Milwaukee Bucks assistant coach Darvin Ham to be the next head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers helped push the NBA to have 15 of their 30 head coaching positions occupied by Black men, Ham’s hire one of eight such around the league to hit this new, important mark for the league.

But for Boston Celtics star forward Jaylen Brown, it isn’t just something to be happy about, the fact that it took more than three-quarters of a century to happen is something that sheds light on wider systemic issues that transcend basketball. Brown was asked his thoughts about the Ham hire at NBA Finals Media Day on Wednesday, and the Georgia native had plenty to say in this vein.

“If you ask me, I don’t understand what took so long,” he suggested.

‘I don’t have all the answers, but something does have to change,” says Boston’s Jayson Tatum on Uvalde, Texas school shooting

‘What happened yesterday in Texas was devastating,’ shared Tatum, commenting on the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas.

For better or worse, in the modern NBA players are often looked to for commentary on issues that transcend basketball — some of them so grave that the sport hardly seems worthy of our attention in comparison.

And such an event transpired on Tuesday, with yet another massacre taking place at a school in Uvalde, Texas that left at least 18 children dead at the hands of an alleged shooter themselves hardly more than a child. After practice on Wednesday, star Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum found himself being asked about the shooting, which happened almost two years to the day of the incident that took the life of George Floyd.

“(The killing of George Floyd) had a great impact on everyone,” explained Tatum, “especially at the time that it happened.”