In the wake of the shooting of Jacob Blake, an unarmed Black man who was shot from behind by police officers multiple times, NBA star LeBron James used his postgame news conference to express his thoughts on the role of guns in the United States, The Washington Post reported.
“Quite frankly, it’s just f*cked up in our community,” he said. “We are scared as Black people in America. Black men, Black women, Black kids, we are terrified. You have no idea how that cop left the house. You don’t know if he woke up on the good side of the bed or the wrong side of the bed.”
The shooting of Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin, was captured on video and has circulated across social media. The man was seen walking toward his car and attempting to sit down in the driver’s seat before he was shot in the back multiple times. He is reportedly in serious condition, and Global News reported that he is paralyzed from the waist down, according to his father.
James suggested that excessive force is a problem that affects the Black community. He pushed back against claims that Blake could not have been subdued or detained without using firearms.
“We see it over and over and over. If you watch the video, there was multiple moments where they could have tackled him or grabbed him. They could have done that.”
James noted that three of Blake’s children were in the back of the car at the time of the shooting and offered prayers to his family and community.
As The Inquisitr reported, neighbors claimed that Blake was attempting to break up a fight before he was gunned down. In a statement after the incident, the Kenosha Police Department said that the officers — who are now on administrative leave — were responding to a domestic call. However, the department did not specify whether Blake was involved in the event.
Before the Blake incident, James has regularly spoken out against police brutality following the deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor at the hands of law enforcement. On Monday, the Los Angeles Lakers star continued these criticisms and pushed for longer, more extensive training for officers — although he acknowledged he doesn’t know the solution to American gun violence.
“I don’t know how you clean that up,” he said.
The shooting of Blake has sparked protests in Kenosha, further fueling the civil unrest across the U.S. that began after Floyd died while in the custody of the Minneapolis Police Department.