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NBA and NFL players and coaches are speaking out after a 29-year-old Black man was shot by Kenosha police Sunday. Jacob Blake was shot in the back multiple times while trying to enter his vehicle.
Blake was taken to a Milwaukee hospital and is in serious condition, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
The shooting was captured on video and shared on social media. The footage — which is both disturbing and graphic — was shared by some athletes, who expressed anger and frustration after another Black person was shot by police.
Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell said Blake’s shooting is another instance of why Black people “don’t feel safe.”
Mitchell’s full tweet read:
“F THE GAMES AND PLAYOFFS!!! THIS IS SICK AND IS A REAL PROBLEM WE DEMAND JUSTICE! ITS CRAZY I DONT HAVE ANY WORDS BUT WTF MAN! THIS IS WHY WE DONT FEEL SAFE!!!!”
Mitchell’s tweet included a video of Blake’s shooting (Warning: The tweet is graphic).
Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James gave a similar statement on Twitter:
“And y’all wonder why we say what we say about the Police!! Someone please tell me WTF is this???!!! Exactly another black man being targeted. This shit is so wrong and so sad!! Feel so sorry for him, his family and OUR PEOPLE!! We want JUSTICE.”
Warning: James’ tweet also included a link to the graphic video.
James also linked to the video on his Instagram story.
Milwaukee Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer addressed the shooting during his news conference Monday. Budenholzer, 55, said, “We have to change.”
Mike Budenholzer opens up his pregame press conference by talking about Jacob Blake, a 29-year-old black man who was shot in the back by Wisconsin police. “We need to have change,” Budenholzer said. “We need to be better.”
— Malika Andrews (@malika_andrews) August 24, 2020
The Bucks released a statement Monday saying the team stands “firmly against reoccurring issues of excessive use of force and immediate escalation when engaging the Black community.”
The Bucks added they “will continue to stand for all Black lives as we demand accountability and systemic change on behalf of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Sylville Smith, Ernest Lacy, Dontre Hamilton, Tony Robinson, Joel Acevedo and countless other victims.”
NFL players express frustration over Jacob Blake shooting
A number of NFL players tweeted about Blake’s shooting. New Orleans Saints running back Alvin Kamara called the shooting “attempted murder,” and added he was praying Blake survives. Warning: Kamara’s tweet also included a link to video of the shooting.
Saints receiver Michael Thomas, Saints defensive end Cameron Jordan, Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers and Kansas City Chiefs cornerback Tyrann Mathieu all tweeted about the shooting.
Stop killing unarmed black people.
— Michael Thomas (@Cantguardmike) August 24, 2020
3 officers, 1 male? And the only way to subdue 1 man was to fire 7 rounds...
— cameron jordan (@camjordan94) August 24, 2020
Damn they shot that man 7 times.... why can’t 3 officers subdue one male? I truly need answers y’all comment on everything else......
— Tyrann Mathieu (@Mathieu_Era) August 24, 2020
Packers players, team respond
The Green Bay Packers — from a team statement to quarterback Aaron Rodgers — also weighed in on the shooting in their state.
Rodgers addressed the racial injustice stemming from “antiquated laws.”
#Packers Aaron Rodgers: "There are antiquated laws that are prejudicial against people of color in this state."
— Lily Zhao (@LilySZhao) August 24, 2020
Packers head coach Matt LaFleur said that he had spoken with his players about the shooting.
Matt LaFleur’s opening remarks following Monday’s practice, on meeting with #Packers leadership council regarding Jacob Blake shooting in Kenosha. “The social justice, the police brutality, the antiquated laws, just got to bring awareness to everybody that black lives matter.” pic.twitter.com/YOMUrTcuk2
— Ryan Wood (@ByRyanWood) August 24, 2020
Matt LaFleur was especially emotional when asked what it’s been like for him to digest what he saw in video of Jacob Blake’s shooting. “It keeps happening over, and over, and over again, and it blows my mind that we’re sitting here in 2020, and we can’t treat everybody the same.” pic.twitter.com/FEEkGDgCZu
— Ryan Wood (@ByRyanWood) August 24, 2020
“The Packers organization was shocked to see the video that showed police shooting Jacob Blake multiple times in the back. We are hopeful Jacob makes a full recovery, and our thoughts are with his family.
“While we understand a full investigation of this terrible incident will take place, we are deeply troubled at what again has become a painful example of the significant challenges we face with respect to police brutality, systemic racism and injustices against Black people. We continue to call for meaningful dialogue to affect the needed change we all desire.”
The officers involved have been placed on administrative leave, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
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