Utah Jazz shooting guard Donovan Mitchell is using his new signature shoe and partnership with Adidas to make sure that Jacob Blake’s children have some money toward their education.
Mitchell’s sneakers D.O.N. Issue #2 Spidey Sense by Adidas, were released on Friday, Aug. 28. On that same day, Mitchell announced on Instagram that for the first 45 hours of the release, he’d be donating $45,000 to Blake’s children for their schooling. Adidas will then match that amount to equal $90,000. The sneakers sell for $100 on Adidas’ website and come in nine different colors.
Blake, a 29-year-old Black man, was shot seven times in the back by a white police officer in Kenosha, Wisconsin, last week. Three of Blake’s children were inside the vehicle Blake was trying to get into at the time, and Blake is now paralyzed from the waist down, according to his attorney Ben Crump.
In his announcement, Mitchell said that he reached out to Adidas and asked how he and the Athletic wear company could help Blake’s children, while Mitchell said that he believes education is the best way to combat systemic racism.
“In such trying times, in turmoil, we must continue our efforts to bring awareness and change,” he said. “Enough is enough and we are tired. Education reform is something that I really believe in, that I believe will help be able to push our country and our future past the point we’re at.”
He continued. “Allowing kids to understand and be able to go in the same classrooms and be able to be taught at a level playing field is something I believe is the key to generational success and being able to push past racism, systemic racism, voter suppression, and everything.”
Mitchell’s message comes days after NBA teams boycotted playoff games in Orlando, Florida’s bubble location in reaction to Blake being shot.
Players from the Milwaukee Bucks were the first to boycott and other teams followed, leaving Wednesday and Thursday’s playoff games postponed. The WNBA, NHL, Major League Baseball, and Major League Soccer also called off games to protest police brutality and racial injustice last week. Barack Obama also had something to do with play resuming, since he reportedly encouraged LeBron James and Chris Paul to continue with the playoffs.
Playoff games in the NBA resumed on Saturday, Aug. 29, after team owners agreed to support the players’ social justice actions in a more substantial way, like turning some NBA arenas into voting locations for November’s general election.
Mitchell received a lot of praise for his donation, as many left comments under his post.
“Love this !! Education reform is so so important keep spreading the love !” someone wrote.
“Great basketball player better person,” another person commented.
The Utah Jazz are currently in a fierce first-round playoff series with the Denver Nuggets, with the Nuggets winning Game 6 119-107 on Sunday. The series is now tied 3-3, and the deciding Game 7 is scheduled for Tuesday, Sept 1.