Boston Celtics Delete Photo Of Star Player Wearing ‘Don’t Tread On Me’ Gadsden Flag Shirt

Boston Celtics Delete Photo Of Star Player Wearing ‘Don’t Tread On Me’ Gadsden Flag Shirt

The Boston Celtics posted a picture on social media of star point guard Kemba Walker sporting a “Don’t Tread On Me” Gadsden flag shirt and then quickly deleted the image after receiving backlash on Twitter.

The Celtics’ official Twitter account shared the picture of Walker before a game against the Washington Wizards Tuesday. When Walker was asked about the shirt, he claimed he wore it because he was a fan of the colorway and the way it looked.

NBA reporter Jared Weiss tweeted, “Kemba Walker was asked about wearing this jacket which has a flag associated with far-right politics. His answer made it pretty apparent he has no idea what it means, saying he liked the colors and the way it looked. No message meant by it.”

During the American Revolution, the Gadsden Flag became a rallying cry for freedom from the oppressive British monarchy. It was named for Christopher Gadsden, a South Carolina politician and leader of the Charleston Sons of Liberty, who designed the flag. In 2016, Nascar driver Carl Edwards displayed the flag on his race car. In several states, there is an option for residents to receive a specialty Gadsden flag license plate.

“I have no idea. The colors looked good. It went with my sneakers. That’s all,” Walker said in regard to his should-be uncontroversial fashion decision. The Celtics did not respond to a request for comment on why its social media team deleted the tweet.

Last year, NBA star James Harden wore a “thin blue line” face-covering — a symbol for the pro-police movement. Likewise to Walker, Harden claimed ignorance upon pushback from the left. He said he just thought “it looked cool.”

Meanwhile, the NBA has openly backed leftist political movements like Black Lives Matter. The league sponsored shirts for players during the season and players kneeled for the national anthem in various parts of the season. The Celtics specifically unveiled BLM-inspired jerseys last summer for the league restart.

Coach Brad Stevens affirmed the team’s commitment to being political, whereas Walker wearing a Gadsden flag shirt is merely being patriotic.

“I think one of the things, Amanda that sometimes you just have to be reminded of … is that you do have a responsibility to be to use your voice … to be active … to make sure that it’s not just saying Black Lives Matter once twice or however many times. It’s making sure that we do everything we can to make sure that we’re playing our part for our community, playing our part for the NBA, playing our part for each other,” Stevens said prior.

Outkick reporter Bobby Burack told The Federalist that the Celtics deleted the tweet “because they were afraid of a ‘far-right’ symbol.”

“I can assure you that if Walker had worn a jacket with far-left messaging that it wouldn’t have been deleted,” Burack said. “It would’ve been retweeted, promoted, and praised. How do I know this? Because the NBA painted ‘Black Lives Matter’ on its court last season as its players wore ‘BLM’ gear as frequently as their uniforms.”

Gabe Kaminsky is an intern at The Federalist. His writing has been featured in The American Conservative, the American Mind, the New York Post, and other outlets. Follow him on Twitter @Gabe__Kaminsky or email [email protected]
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