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LeBron James: Jacob Blake Decision 'A Blow to the Gut and the Heart'

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistJanuary 6, 2021

Los Angeles Lakers' LeBron James (23) prepares for play to start during the second half of Game 1 of basketball's NBA Finals Wednesday, Sept. 30, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press

Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James elaborated on his thoughts about Kenosha County District Attorney Michael Graveley's decision not to charge Officer Rusten Sheskey in the August shooting of Jacob Blake.

"To hear what happened in Kenosha today was a blow to the gut and the heart," James told reporters following the Lakers' 94-92 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies on Tuesday.

The four-time NBA MVP offered his initial reaction on Twitter:

LeBron James @KingJames

AT ALL!!! 😤😤😤😤😤😤. 🤦🏾‍♂️ https://t.co/m3iv1NZxQY

On Aug. 23, Kenosha, Wisconsin, police responded to a domestic disturbance. A video showed Blake walking toward the driver's side door of a gray SUV. Two officers followed him closely with their guns drawn. As Blake opened the door, one officer grabbed his tank top and multiple gunshots are heard.

Per Amir Vera and Brad Parks of CNN, Sheskey said during the investigation he was concerned Blake was entering the car to flee with a child in the backseat. The Wisconsin Department of Justice also said a knife, which Blake told authorities was on his person, was discovered on the floorboard of the vehicle.

B'Ivory LaMarr, an attorney for Blake's family, argued it wasn't clear whether Blake posed an immediate threat to the officers.

Numerous Americans across the country had already begun protests against systemic racism and police brutality when the shooting occurred. It served as another flashpoint in the movement.

Three days after the shooting, the Milwaukee Bucks refused to play an NBA playoff game against the Orlando Magic as a form of protest.

Milwaukee Bucks @Bucks

Full statement from the Milwaukee Bucks: https://t.co/jjGEyVcCmB

Their decision had a domino effect that briefly shut the NBA down and impacted multiple other sports. The National Basketball Players Association used the stoppage to get more social justice-related commitments from the NBA and its team governors.

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