“WE DEMAND CHANGE. SICK OF IT,” James wrote, in part, on Twitter Wednesday. (Warning: His full social media post contains profanity.)
Blake, an unarmed Black man, was shot multiple times in the back by police as he entered an SUV in Kenosha, Wisconsin. His three children aged three, five and eight were in the car, according to a family attorney.
Footage of the shooting has emerged on social media, and James, who has passionately spoken out throughout the Black Lives Matter movement, said Tuesday after the Lakers’ win against the Portland Trail Blazers that he had seen the video.
“If you’re sitting here telling me that there was no way to subdue that gentleman, or detain him, or before the firing of guns, then you’re sitting here, you’re lying to not only me, you’re lying to every African American, every Black person in the community because we see it over and over and over,” James told reporters. “If you watch the video, there (were) multiple moments where if they wanted to 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 guns firing?”
“I know people get tired of hearing me say it but we are scared as Black people in America,” James continued.
This is not the first time James has spoken out against police brutality and demanded reform.
Earlier this month, ahead of Game 1 of their first-round playoff series against the Portland Trail Blazers, James and other Lakers players wore red hats, resembling MAGA hats worn by supporters of President Donald Trump, that read “Make America
Great Again Arrest The Cops Who Killed Breonna Taylor.”
Following the deaths of Taylor and George Floyd, NBA players were vocal in their calls for social justice. When the NBA season resumed amid the coronavirus pandemic, most players knelt during the National Anthem while wearing Black Lives Matter T-shirts.
Wednesday, the NBA postponed playoff games after the Milwaukee Bucks announced their decision to boycott Game 5 against the Orlando Magic. The Bucks players reportedly made this decision in the wake of the Blake shooting.
James wasn’t alone in speaking out in wake of the Bucks’ boycott news. Players from several teams and the Boston Celtics’ official Twitter account also demanded change.
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