Los Angeles Clippers head coach Doc Rivers made an emotional and impassioned speech in response to the Jacob Blake shooting.
Blake, a Black man, was shot by a Kenosha, Wisconsin, police officer seven times in the back while trying to enter his vehicle on August 23. Blake’s children were in the backseat of the car. Blake was reportedly trying to de-escalate a fight between two other people when police arrived.
“What stands out to me is just watching the Republican convention and viewing this fear, right? All you hear is Donald Trump and all of them talking about fear,” Rivers said after Tuesday’s win against the Dallas Mavericks. “We’re the ones getting killed. We’re the ones getting shot. We’re the ones that are denied to live in certain communities.”
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“We keep loving this country and this country doesn’t love us back.”
Doc Rivers got emotional while talking about Jacob Blake being shot by police and social injustice. pic.twitter.com/qQI2Ld2DGI
— ESPN (@espn) August 26, 2020
“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,” he continued. “It’s really so sad. I should just be a coach and it’s so haunting, reminded of my colour.”
Rivers asserted that systemic change to the police force is necessary.
“It’s just really sad. We’ve got to do better,” he expressed. “We’ve got to demand better. It’s funny, we protest and they send riot guards. They send people in riot outfits. They go 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.”
The shooting of Blake is something that should outrage everyone, Rivers said.
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“If you watch that video, you don’t need to be Black to be outraged. You need to be American and outraged,” he exclaimed. “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. Breonna Taylor, no charges, nothing. All we’re asking is you live up to the Constitution. That’s all we’re asking, for everybody.”
The United States Department of Justice announced an investigation into the shooting.