Bradley Beal: 'Tough' to be excited about new deal amid Brittney Griner, Highland Park situations

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Beal: 'Tough' to be excited about new deal with current events originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

Sitting between general manager Tommy Sheppard and head coach Wes Unseld Jr., Wizards star Bradley Beal took the podium on Friday afternoon for a press conference intended to celebrate the five-year, $251 million deal he signed to remain in Washington.

But during Beal's opening remarks, the recently turned 29-year-old explained it's tough for him to be excited about his new contract, due to recent tragic events that have occurred.

"Just the climate of the world we're in, it's tough for me to be super excited," Beal said. "We have Brittney Griner in Russia still. Highland Park just lost six or seven lives. My hometown of St. Louis, from July 1 to July 5, there were 22 shootings. That's tough."

Griner, an eight-time WNBA All-Star, was detained at the Sheremetyevo Airport in Moscow, Russia in February after vape canisters with cannabis oil were reportedly found in her luggage. Griner pleaded guilty to the charges in a Russian court on Thursday but said she had no intention of committing a crime.

Highland Park, a neighborhood in the north suburbs of Chicago, was the location of a mass shooting during a July 4th parade. Seven people have been confirmed dead with dozens injured.

Beal's hometown of St. Louis was also impacted by gun violence over the holiday weekend, as seven more people were killed with 19 injured.

All of these events have taken a toll on Beal, as he worries for his own family's safety moving forward.

"This is a celebratory moment for my family and I," Beal said. "But it's tough when I have two sons right here and have to figure out how do they come up in this world that's unpredictable at this point. Just careless."