Blake, 29, was shot at least seven times in the back as he tried to get into a car in which his three children were seated. He underwent surgery and is in serious condition in the intensive care unit of a Milwaukee hospital. The officers were placed on administrative leave, but protests rocked the city, which was placed on a curfew that extended into Monday morning.
LeBron James was one of several athletes who shared an old video of actor Denzel Washington asking, “Is the sheep preaching hate when he says I’m not going to let a wolf eat me anymore?”
That was retweeted by Kansas City Chiefs safety Tyrann Mathieu, who also tweeted: “Damn they shot that man 7 times … why can’t 3 officers subdue one male? I truly need answers y’all comment on everything else.”
Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell, whose team is playing the Denver Nuggets in an NBA playoff series, also took to Twitter. “F THE GAMES AND PLAYOFFS!!! THIS IS SICK AND IS A REAL PROBLEM WE DEMAND JUSTICE!” he wrote, adding, “THIS IS WHY WE DONT FEEL SAFE!!!!”
Kenny Stills, the Houston Texans wide receiver who has knelt during the national anthem for several seasons, tweeted, “Tired of waking up to videos of people being gun downed by the police.” Stills was among 87 protesters recently arrested as they demanded justice for Breonna Taylor outside the home of Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron.
The Milwaukee Bucks, for whom the unlawful arrest of forward Sterling Brown in 2018 still resonates, said the organization stands “firmly against reoccurring issues of excessive use of force and immediate escalation when engaging the black community. Our organization will continue to stand for all black lives as we demand accountability and systemic change on behalf of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Sylville Smith, Ernest Lacy, Dontre Hamilton, Tony Robinson, Joel Acevedo and countless other victims. We will work to enact policy change so these incidents no longer exist.”
Speaking to reporters from the NBA playoffs in Kissimmee, Fla., Bucks guard George Hill said, “We shouldn’t have even came to this damn place, to be honest. I think coming here just took all the focal points off what the issues are.”
The Green Bay Packers also released a strong statement on the incident: “While we understand a full investigation of this terrible incident will take place, we are deeply troubled at what again has become a painful example of the significant challenges we face with respect to police brutality, systemic racism and injustices against Black people. We continue to call for meaningful dialogue to affect the needed change we all desire.”
The shooting happened when officers responded to a domestic incident, police said. Witnesses told the Kenosha News that Blake was trying to break up a fight and that police first attempted to stun him with a Taser. Video shows people gathering outside as two officers with guns drawn follow Blake as he approached the car. As he opened the driver’s side door, an officer grabs his white tank top and multiple shots are fired.
Saints running back Alvin Kamara called the incident “attempted murder” and added, “I pray he survives.” Saints defensive end Cameron Jordan questioned the amount of force used, tweeting: “3 officers, 1 male? And the only way to subdue 1 man was to fire 7 rounds …”
New York Mets pitcher Marcus Stroman tweeted: “Prayers up for Jacob Blake. If you watch that video and don’t see the problem…then you’re part of the problem. No body cam footage. Unarmed black man. Thank god for the video from across the street. Open your eyes people. Try a little empathy. This s— is sickening!”