LeBron James on Jacob Blake Shooting: ‘It’s F***ed Up in Our Community’

LeBron James, Lakers

Getty LeBron James, Lakers

After his team’s strong performance against the Trail Blazers in Game 4 of the opening round of the NBA playoffs, Lakers star LeBron James reflected on the shooting of Jacob Blake by police in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Blake was shot seven times in the back by a police officer as he attempted to enter the driver’s side door of his car. The police were called because of a domestic disturbance.

The incident, James said, illustrates why so many Black people in this country fear the police.

“I know people get tired of hearing me say it, but we are scared as Black people in America,” James said in his postgame press conference. “Black men, Black women, Black kids, we are terrified.”

James expressed the fear Black people feel, being at the whims of the police.

“You have no idea how that cop that day left the house,” he said. “You don’t know if he woke up on the right side of the bed, you don’t know if he woke up on the wrong side of the bed, you don’t know if he had an argument at home with his significant other, you don’t know if one of his kids said something crazy to him and he left the house steaming. Maybe he just left the house saying, today is going to be the end for one of these Black people. That’s what it feels like. That’s what it feels like. It hurts.”

LeBron James Has Been Outspoken About Police Violence

James has been a frequent and outspoken critic of police around the country as a number of instances of violence against Black victims have gained notoriety in recent months. The killing of George Floyd in Minnesota has been the most prominent, but the death of Breonna Taylor in Louisville in March and the killing of Ahmaud Arbery in Georgia in February—which came at the hands of three white men trying to make a citizens’ arrest—have also caused James to speak out publicly.

James took a wider view in the Blake case:

If you’re sitting here telling me there was no way to subdue that gentleman or detain him or just—before the firing of guns, then you are sitting here and you are lying not only to me but ti every African-American, every Black person in the community. Because we see it over and over and over. If you watch the video, there was multiple moments where they could have tackled him, they could have grabbed him. They could have done that. Why does it always have to get to a point where we see the gun firing? His family is there, his kids are there, it is in broad daylight. If that video is not being taken by that person across the street, do we even know if we see that video?

Quite frankly, it’s f***ed up in our community.

George Hill: ‘We Shouldn’t Have Even Came to This Damn Place’

The fact that the shooting happened within minutes of Milwaukee also made it a topic of discussion for the Bucks, the favorites in the East to reach the NBA Finals against the Lakers, who remain the favorites in the West.

Reserve Bucks guard George Hill, a teammate of James in Cleveland in 2018, said that the killing of Blake demonstrated that the NBA should not be playing at this point.

“We can’t do anything [from Orlando],” Hill told reporters on Monday. “First of all, we shouldn’t have even came to this damn place, to be honest. I think coming here just took all the focal points off what the issues are.”

James disagreed.

“I don’t have any reaction to George Hill’s comment,” James said. “Everyone has their opinions and reaction to what happened.”

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