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Los Angeles Clippers head coach Doc Rivers became the latest NBA figure to react to the video of Jacob Blake’s shooting by police in Wisconsin, calling for police reform and the speaking out against police unions after Tuesday’s win against the Dallas Mavericks.
When asked for comment on the shooting of Blake, an unarmed Black man entering his car during a dispute with police, Rivers launched into an extended tirade about the state of policing in America and the appropriation of fear by the Republican party.
What stands out to me is just watching the Republican convention and viewing this fear, right? All you hear is Donald Trump and all of them talking about fear. We're the ones getting killed. We're the ones getting shot. We’re the ones that are denied to live in certain communities. We’ve been hung, we’ve been shot. All you do is keep hearing about fear. It’s amazing to me why we keep loving this country and this country does not love us back.
It’s really so sad. I should just be a coach and it’s so haunting, reminded of my color. It’s just really sad. We’ve got to do better. We’ve got to demand better. It’s funny, we protest and they send riot guards. They send people in riot outfits. They go to Michigan with guns and they’re spitting on cops and nothing happens. The training has to change in the police force. The unions have to be taken down in the police force. My dad was a cop. I believe in good cops. We’re not trying to defund the police and take all their money away. We’re trying to get them to protect us, just like they protect everybody else.
If you watch that video, you don’t need to be black to be outraged. You need to be American and outraged. How dare the Republicans talk about fear? We’re the ones that need to be scared. We’re the ones having to talk to every Black child. What white father has to give his son a talk about being careful if you get pulled over? It’s just ridiculous.
Breonna Taylor, no charges, nothing. All we’re asking is you live up to the constitution. That’s all we’re asking, for everybody.
As of Tuesday night, Blake is still alive and recovering from surgery, but his lawyer says he’ll need “a miracle” to be able to walk again after being shot multiple times, per CNN.
NBA’s response to Jacob Blake
Video of the shooting has spread widely across social media and prompted several statements from players and teams. The reactions of NBA players have varied widely, from Oklahoma City Thunder guard Chris Paul urging players and fans to vote to Milwaukee Bucks guard George Hill questioning the decision to even play basketball.
Like with many other officer shootings, LeBron James has publicly questioned the treatment of Black people in America. Boston Celtics forward Jaylen Brown seemed to sum up the outcry, asking “Are we not human beings?”
As the NBA playoffs and election season continue, such rhetoric is only bound to increase in a league that is not shy about political activism.
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