(Reuters) – Los Angeles Clippers coach Doc Rivers said Americans should do better and demand better treatment following the police shooting of Jacob Blake, an unarmed Black man, in Kenosha, Wisconsin, on Sunday.
Blake, 29, was hit by four of seven shots fired and left paralyzed and “fighting for his life,” his family and lawyers said on Tuesday, hours before the latest round of civil unrest broke out in the lakefront town between Milwaukee and Chicago.
“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. We’re the ones getting killed,” an emotional Rivers told reporters.
“We’re the ones getting shot. We’re the ones that are denied to live in certain communities. We’ve been hung, 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 really so sad. I should just be a coach. I’m so often reminded of my color… We’ve got to do better. But we’ve got to demand better… If you watch that video, you don’t need to be Black to be outraged. You need to be American and outraged.”
On Tuesday, National Football League side Detroit Lions canceled a practise session as players held up signs reading: “We Won’t be Silent” and “The World Can’t Go On” in a show of solidarity with protesters in Kenosha.
The shooting occurred three months after George Floyd’s death in police custody in Minneapolis sparked nationwide protests against police brutality and racism.
“You wouldn’t believe how many of our players have been in this situation with law enforcement officers, with guns held to their head,” Nick Nurse, the head coach of National Basketball Association side Toronto Raptors, said in a Sportsnet podcast.
The U.S. media reported that the Raptors have discussed boycotting the first game of their second-round playoff series against the Boston Celtics on Thursday.
(Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Nick Macfie)