Jacob Blake, a black man, was shot seven times by police on Sunday in Kenosha, Wisconsin, as he was climbing into the driver’s side door of his vehicle.
Video of the incident captured from a window across the street went viral on social media, sparking rage from some of the most prolific professional athletes, especially Lakers’ LeBron James.
Following the Lakers’ Game Four victory over the Portland Trail Blazers on Monday, James had a few things to say about Jacob Blake’s run-in with Wisconsin police.
“I know people get tired of hearing me say it, but we are scared as Black people in America. Black men, Black women, Black kids, we are terrified,” James said during a post-game interview.
“If you’re sitting here and telling me that there was no way to subdue that gentleman or detain him or just before the firing of guns, then you’re sitting here and lying to not only me, but you’re lying to every African American, every Black person in the community. Because we see it over and over and over.”
James mentioned that police had multiple options to choose from in order to deescalate the situation. He questioned law enforcement’s use of a weapon, especially in front of Blake’s three kids.
“If you watch the video, there were multiple moments where if they wanted to, they could’ve tackled him. They could’ve grabbed him. You know? They could’ve done that. And why, why does it always have to get to a point where we see the guns firing?” James said.
The Lakers superstar isn’t the only professional athlete to voice their anger over the shooting of Blake. Players across all four of the major U.S. sports reacted to the incident.
“Damn they shot that man seven times. Why can’t three officers subdue one male? I truly need answers y’all comment on everything else…” – Tyrann Mathieu (Kansas City Chiefs)
“They put seven rounds into Jacob Blake in front of his children. I watched the video. You’re telling me he can’t be tazed? He immediately has to be shot? Apparently black lives still don’t matter. I am outraged this morning.” – Amir Garrett (Cincinnati Reds)
“Wish I could say I can’t believe what I’m seeing. This has to stop! How does anyone think this is right?! We need consequences for these sick acts of violence from the people who are supposed to be protecting us!” – Evander Kane (San Jose Sharks)
“This is sick and is a real problem. We demand justice! It’s crazy. I don’t have any words but, man! This is why we don’t feel safe!” – Donovan Mitchell (Utah Jazz)
Milwaukee Bucks head coach Mike Budenholzer also sent his condolences to the Blake family.
“Just like to send out my thoughts and prayers to Jacob Blake and his family, another young Black man shot by a police officer,” Budenholzer said.
“We need to have change. We need to be better. And I’m hoping for the best for him and his family. I’m hoping for the best as we work through this in Wisconsin and Milwaukee and Kenosha. So thoughts and prayers for Jacob Blake.”