Los Angeles Clippers coach Doc Rivers on Tuesday made a poignant statement on Jacob Blake, a 29-year-old Black man who was shot several times by police. After the Clippers’ Game 5 win over the Dallas Mavericks, Rivers, who is Black, said in a news conference, “We got to do better, but we got to demand better.”
Rivers criticized speakers at thefor talking about “fear” on the first day of the event, while Black Americans live in actual fear of policing in this country.
“All you hear is Donald Trump and all of them talking about fear,” he said. “We’re the ones getting killed. We’re the ones getting shot.”
As Rivers started to choke up, he talked about being Black in the U.S. and why police shootings are a reminder of it.
“It’s amazing why we keep loving this country and this country does not love us back,” Rivers said. “It’s really so sad. Like, I should just be a coach. I’m so often reminded of my color. It’s just really sad. We got to do better, but we got to demand better.”
He pointed out the stark differences he sees in policing when involving White and Black protesters.
“It’s funny,” he said. “We protest. They send riot guards. They send people in riot outfits. They go up to Michigan with guns. They’re spitting on cops. Nothing happens.”
Rivers, whose father Grady spent 30 years in the police force in Maywood, Illinois, said he believes in “good cops,” but police training has to change.
“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.”
Blake was allegedly shot several times in the back by a police officer as he opened the door of a parked vehicle in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Video of the shooting emerged on social media late Sunday, sparking angry protests for The family’s attorney, Ben Crump, told CBS News that Blake’s three children, ages 3 to 8, were in the car. He said Tuesday that Blake is now paralyzed and is “struggling to sustain his life.”
Rivers joins other NBA voices who have condemned the shooting. Los Angeles Lakers expressed regret over coming to the NBA’s so-called “bubble,” citing the shooting. Some players on the Toronto Raptors reportedly discussed a boycott of the playoffs to bring more attention to the cause.said that Black people in America are “scared.” Milwaukee Bucks point guard George Hill