NBA, NFL on the Jacob Blake shooting: ‘Why does this keep happening?’
LeBron James, the Milwaukee Bucks and NFL players Tyrann Mathieu and Aaron Rodgers decry the latest police shooting of Jacob Blake
Members of the sports world have reacted to the shooting of Jacob Blake and it’s safe to say they are disgusted, hurt, and angry. NBA and NFL players from LeBron James to Aaron Rodgers responded with outrage on social media today after Blake’s shooting by police in Kenosha, Wisconsin sparked protests.
“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,” James wrote.
The Milwaukee Bucks, who play at Fiserv Arena in Milwaukee which is about 45 minutes from Kenosha, issued a statement today.
In the statement, they said they are praying for Blake’s recovery. He remains hospitalized in intensive care at a Milwaukee hospital.
“We stand firmly against recoccuring issues of excessive use of force an immediate escalation when engaging the Black community, ” the statement read. “Our organization will continue to stand for all Black lives. “
The team referenced the killings of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, as well as lesser-known victims of police violence like Sylville Smith and Joel Acevedo who was killed in Milwaukee by an off-duty cop in June.
Though the Bucks and their star player Giannis Antetokounmpo are on the verge of clinching a second-round playoff spot Wednesday with a commanding 3-1 lead over the Orlando Magic, their coach Mike Budenholzer said the team was impacted by the latest killing of an unarmed Black man.
“It’s on our players’ minds, it’s on our coaches’ minds, it’s on our staff’s minds and our organization’s mind,” Budenholzer said according to ESPN.
“We have a playoff game that’s very important to us, but an incident like this is more important than anything we’re doing in Orlando. And I think there was a lot of talk before we came here that we need to continue this conversation. We need to be better as a country and have no more of these incidents and understand that Black lives matter.”
Bucks player George Hill didn’t think the team should have participated in the restart, even though they fought to wear social justice messages on their jerseys and ‘Black Lives Matter’ was prominently displayed on the courts at the NBA bubble at ESPN’s Wide World of Sports complex in Orlando.
Other NBA players who commented included Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell who said: “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!!!!”
NFL players also chimed in, including Kansas City Chiefs safety Tyrann Mathieu, Green Bay quarterback Rodgers and New Orleans Saints players Michael Thomas and Cameron Jordan.
Blakes’ family has retained attorney Benjamin Crump. His father updated his condition today, saying he was still alive.
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