John Wall Joins Black Lives Matter Protest in Washington DC: 'We Demand Justice'

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistJune 7, 2020

PORTLAND, OREGON - MARCH 04: John Wall #2 of the Washington Wizards looks on during the game against the Portland Trail Blazers at the Moda Center on March 04, 2020 in Portland, Oregon. The Portland Trail Blazers topped the Washington Wizards, 125-105. 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. (Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images)
Alika Jenner/Getty Images

Washington Wizards star John Wall took part in a Black Lives Matter protest in Washington, D.C., on Saturday. 

"I'm Black and I'm Proud!" Wall wrote on Instagram. "We Demand Justice. Black Men Matter. Black Women Matter. Black Lives Matter ‼️"

Chase Hughes @ChaseHughesNBCS

John Wall joined protestors in D.C. last night, with a homemade ‘BLM’ sign, and took a picture as he passed Capital One Arena. IG: johnwall https://t.co/tyFOHYZEYA

In the wake of George Floyd's killing, Americans across the country have marched and demonstrated to demand reform addressing police brutality and a flawed social system.

Floyd was approached by four officers from the Minneapolis Police Department on May 25 because he matched the description of a suspect in an alleged forgery. The officers removed him from his vehicle and placed him on the ground.

A video of the encounter showed officer Derek Chauvin kneeling on Floyd's neck for almost nine minutes, with Floyd heard telling the officers he couldn't breathe. He subsequently died at a local hospital.

Prosecutors initially charged Chauvin with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter, and Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison amended the first charge to second-degree murder. The other three officers were charged with aiding and abetting a murder.

Alluding to Floyd's killing, the Wizards issued a statement, saying they "will no longer tolerate the assassination of people of color in this country":

Washington Wizards @WashWizards

A united statement from our players. https://t.co/SGKSDw76zU

Wall also spoke in depth on the Hoops, Adjacent podcast (h/t The Athletic's David Aldridge) about how he feels a lingering threat while living as a black man in the United States:

"If I get pulled over right now, I'm terrified. To be realistic. If I'm in a dark area, or a back street, I'm not stopping. I'll go to a high-speed chase to get to a spot where it's a grocery store, or somewhere where's there's a lot of lights at, because that's how terrifying it is. You're telling me if I want to be a black kid to jog in a neighborhood, and I say, 'okay, I want to cut through this white neighborhood, this rich neighborhood,' and then all of a sudden, I'm targeted to get killed? Because I don't belong there? Those are the kind of things I grew up with, like you wouldn't go to this side of town where you wasn't allowed. Why? We breathe the same air."

Gregory and Travis McMichael were charged with murder in May after Travis McMichael shot and killed Ahmaud Arbery. 

Arbery was jogging around a residential neighborhood in February when the McMichaels spotted him and believed him to be a suspect in the area's recent break-ins.

They chased Arbery with their truck and upon cornering him, McMichael exited the truck with a shotgun. Arbery and McMichael had a confrontation and fought over control of the shotgun as McMichael fired three shots, killing Arbery.