Blazers star Damian Lillard calls federal response to Portland protests 'disturbing' and 'unnecessary'

As the Portland Trail Blazers gear up to play out their season at Disney World, star Damian Lillard spoke out on Wednesday about the protests going on back home.

Specifically, Lillard took issue with the federal response that has made headlines in recent days, with heavily armed Department of Homeland Security officers inflaming tensions between protesters and police.

Speaking with media, Lillard said he had only recently seen video of troops hauling individual protesters into unmarked vans. He called such actions a “disturbing” and “unnecessary” response to peaceful protesters.

Blazers coach Terry Stotts also told reporters he hopes the troops are pulled back, which local leaders have requested.

Lillard and Stotts aren’t the only local figures to decry the federal response to the protests. Both Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler and Oregon Gov. Kate Brown have criticized the troops’ presence, as have many other local leaders.

Meanwhile, President Donald Trump has ordered the deployment of federal troops into other cities.

Damian Lillard looks on during a game in March.
Damian Lillard called the actions of federal police in Portland a “disturbing” and “unnecessary” response to peaceful protesters. (Alika Jenner/Getty Images)

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