Clippers' Doc Rivers Discusses Police Shooting of Jacob BlakeAugust 26, 2020
Los Angeles Clippers head coach Doc Rivers opened up about the police shooting of Jacob Blake, police brutality and more in an emotional press conference following his team's 154-111 victory over the Dallas Mavericks on Tuesday.
Rachel Nichols @Rachel__Nichols
Doc Rivers with raw emotion and a thunderbolt cry for justice: "All you hear is Donald Trump & all of them talking about fear. We're the ones getting killed. We're the ones getting shot...It's amazing, we keep loving this country, and this country does not love us back." https://t.co/19dHu9UlZ5
"Watching the Republican convention, and they're spewing this fear. All you hear is Donald Trump and all of them talking about fear. We're the ones getting killed. We're the ones getting shot. We're the ones denied to live in certain communities. We've been hung. We've been shot.
"All you do is keep hearing about fear. It's amazing to me why we keep loving this country, and this country does not love us back. It's just really so sad. Like I should just be a coach, and it's so often reminded of my color. You know? It's just really sad. We've got to do better.
"But we've got to demand better. You know, it's funny. We protest, and they send riot guards, right? They send people in riot outfits. They go up to Michigan with guns, and they're spitting on cops. And nothing happens. The training has to change in the police force. The unions have to be taken down in the police force. My dad was a cop. I believe in good cops. We're not trying to defund the police and take all their money away. We're trying to get them to protect us. Just like they protect everybody else.
"I didn't want to talk about it before the game because it's so hard. ... If you watch that video, you don't need to be Black to be outraged. You need to be American and outraged. And how dare the Republicans talk about fear? We're the ones that need to be scared. We're the ones having to talk to every Black child. What white father has to give his son a talk about being careful if you get pulled over? It's just ridiculous.
"And it just keeps going. There's no charges. Breonna Taylor—no charges. Nothing. All we're asking is you live up to the constitution. That's all we're asking. For everybody. For everyone."
Boston Celtics legend Bill Russell took to Twitter to thank Rivers for his "words of wisdom" following the press conference:
Thank you @DocRivers for your words of wisdom and keeping this at the forefront. Proud to see the men in the bubble using their voices to try to enact real change! @NBAonTNT thank you for talking from your heart and trying to educate others by giving your experiences @NBA
Rivers' counterpart in Tuesday's game, Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle, discussed the shooting of Blake prior to the contest and called it a "horrible gut punch," per Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN, adding "the importance of basketball is so far down the list when you consider the events of recent months."
Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James also used his platform to talk about the shooting after his team's win Monday and told reporters: "Quite frankly, it's just f--ked up in our community. ... We are scared as Black people in America. Black men, Black women, Black kids. We are terrified."
Celtics guard Jaylen Brown was among the other NBA players to talk about the shooting and told reporters, "People post my jersey all the time, No. 7. And every time I look at my jersey now, what I see is a Black man being shot seven times while America sees this background."
As Leah Asmelash of CNN.com noted, police in Kenosha, Wisconsin, shot Blake in the back seven times as he leaned into his car. The police said the officers were responding to a domestic incident. Benjamin Crump, an attorney hired by the family, said Blake was trying to break up a fight between two women.
Crump also said Blake's three young sons were in the car, while Blake's father, Jacob Sr., said his son is paralyzed from the waist down. Jacob Sr. said he is not sure if the paralysis is permanent.