Damian Lillard Comments on Violence, Damage in Donald Trump Protest

Adam WellsFeatured ColumnistNovember 12, 2016

PORTLAND, OR - APRIL 4: Damian Lillard #0 of the Portland Trail Blazers sits on the sideline before a game against the New Orleans Pelicans on April 4, 2015 at the Moda Center Arena in Portland, Oregon. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2015 NBAE (Photo by Sam Forencich/NBAE via Getty Images)
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Following protests against President-elect Donald Trump in Portland, Oregon, that turned violent Saturday, Trail Blazers star Damian Lillard urged citizens to not let their frustration lead to more people being injured or property damage.

Lillard shared his thoughts with ESPN.com's Chris Haynes:

I think it's very unfortunate that people have done some of the things they have done during the protest. A lot of harm and damage has been done. I do understand their frustration, and I commend people wanting to come together for some kind of change. Tearing apart your own city just isn't the place to begin, and also making your own city less of a safe place isn't the answer.

Per NBC News' Phil McCausland, Jason Cumming and Gemma DiCasimirro, Portland police were looking for a gunman after one person was shot around 1 a.m. PT on Morrison Bridge. They said in a statement "preliminary information indicates that a suspect was in a vehicle on the bridge, and there was a confrontation with someone in the protest. The suspect got out of the vehicle and fired multiple shots.

Authorities said the victim's injuries are not believed to be life-threatening, per NBC News.

"For someone to be shot on the bridge lets you know it has gone too far," Lillard told Haynes. "That could have been a kid out there or any person catching a stray bullet."

He later added, "So if this is an anti-Trump rally, then you're probably harming the people that you side with in most cases. So again I share the same worry, but I don't think this is the solution."

The Trail Blazers drafted Lillard in 2012, and since then, he's become an ambassador for the city. After a game against the Golden State Warriors in January, he told CSNNW.com's Jason Quick he wants to spend his entire career with Portland.

The 26-year-old signed a five-year extension with the Blazers in 2015, which will keep him with the team through the 2020-21 season.