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NBA player D'Angelo Russell holds impromptu discussion with reporters about Capitol riot

Minnesota Timberwolves star D'Angelo Russell on Sunday used a postgame press conference to hold an impromptu dialogue with members of the press about the pro-Trump mob that rioted at the U.S. Capitol last week. 

Shortly after the Timberwolves' victory over the San Antonio Spurs, Russell, who criticized the government response to the riot on Twitter a few days earlier, took questions from the media.

Jon Krawczynski, a reporter for The Athletic, asked Russell about his thoughts on the riots at the Capitol and the Minnesota guard flipped the question back at Krawczynski and other members of the media.

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“I'm not in any rush right now,” Russell said. “I think it's the perfect time to do this ... I'd love to hear y’all’s opinion on [the riot] and we can play tennis with that.”

Krawczynski pointed to recent comments made by Milwaukee Bucks player Cam Reynolds and other NBA stars comparing how Black Lives Matter protesters were treated by police during summer protests and how it contrasted with how police responded to the pro-Trump mob, which had been predominantly white, as it stormed the Capitol last week.

“It can only be heartbreaking to try and think what you guys are seeing after what you all experienced this summer,” Krawczynski said. “To me, it’s quite frankly both heartbreaking and just brings a rage about you to see it that way and see people being treated differently.”

Russell told him he respected that response and then moved on to the next press member.

“What about you, Dane?” he asked Dane Moore of the Dane Moore NBA Podcast.

“Honestly, for me, it’s embarrassing as a white person,” Moore responded. “I think it shined a really sad light on just a separation in our society based on race, and I’m embarrassed for the country, that’s mostly my opinion.”

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Russell took a few more responses from reporters and thanked them for participating in the dialogue before providing his own thoughts on the riot. 

“We let that happen as a country, a higher power, whatever you want to say, we let that happen,” Russell said. “It brought eyes to the unfairness of what we're living in this country. It just brought more eyes to it. I will say that with all this going on, it's triggered a lot of attention toward just this topic in general.

“It's allowing us to sit back and think about how we're going to respond to this as a nation, as an individual, as a teacher. Anything you do, your voice is going to matter. A lot of young kids nowadays, they probably won't see this and they probably won't understand what's going on, but it is a revolution.” 

“It is a change. It is something that, I feel that it can only go up from here. Being able to recognize what's right and what's wrong in these situations and see how people are taken advantage of is the wrong thing to do,” he added.

Thousands of Trump supporters had flocked to Washington last week to protest the November election results as Congress geared up to certify the Electoral College vote.

The Capitol was placed on lockdown on Jan. 6 as demonstrations outside grew more violent and rioters stormed the building’s grounds. 

At least five people died amid the rioting. The Metropolitan Police Department also said at the time that at least 14 officers were also injured during the violence and 52 people were arrested.