Players from the NBA and WNBA have been speaking out about the deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor more so than athletes from other professional sports leagues. So it may not be surprising that LeBron James is just one of the players who reacted passionately to the shooting of 29-year-old Black man Jacob Blake, who was shot by a white police officer on Sunday, Aug. 23, in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
Blake, who was unarmed, was shot seven times as his back was turned, after officers responded to a domestic incident. On Monday, TMZ released a separate video from the one that initially surfaced and it shows Blake and the officers having a physical struggle before the shooting. Two Kenosha officers are now on administrative leave.
“And y’all wonder why we say what we say about the Police!!” tweeted James on Monday, Aug. 24. “Someone please tell me WTF is this???!!! Exactly another Black man being targeted. This s–t is so wrong and so sad!! Feel so sorry for him, his family and OUR PEOPLE!! We want JUSTICE.”
On the same day that James sent his message, Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell tweeted that NBA games aren’t important at a time when unarmed Black men are being shot by police officers.
“F THE GAMES AND PLAYOFFS!!!’ wrote Mitchell. “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!!!!.”
Blake was shot at close range as he attempted to get into an SUV while his sons, ages 3, 5, and 8, were inside the vehicle. He was then airlifted to a Milwaukee hospital and by Monday was in intensive care, according to CNN.
His father, Jacob Blake Sr., told the news outlet that his son is now paralyzed from the waist down, but Blake Sr. wasn’t sure if his condition is permanent or not.
On Monday, police in riot gear used tear gas and rubber bullets against protesters in Kenosha as people broke an 8 p.m. curfew for the second consecutive night. Demonstrators and police mainly clashed outside of the Kenosha County Courthouse, while several buildings and vehicles, including two city trucks, were seen burning.
Protests were also held in Minneapolis, Washington, D.C., and New York City for Blake.
“ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!!” tweeted Miami Heat forward Jae Crowder about the shooting.
The Los Angeles Lakers’ Kyle Kuzma also reacted.
“Cops feel so free to kill a Black man but will let a mass murderer walk away in hand cuffs,” he tweeted. “How can we have hope s–t will change when everyday we go on this app and see this s–t WTF!”
A’ja Wilson, of the WNBA, is another person who expressed disgust over Blake being shot.
“How many more …smh this is sickening …this is heartbreaking.. Demand change. Demand justice #BlackLivesMatter,” she tweeted on Monday.