Second-year defensive back Lonnie Johnson held a press conference on Tuesday to discuss his ongoing career with the Houston Texans. Before discussing football, however, he first delivered a strong message. Johnson called for the arrest of the police officers that shot Breonna Taylor, as well as those that shot Jacob Blake.
"Before we start, I'd like to say: 'Arrest the cops that killed Breonna Taylor and the ones that shot Jacob Blake,'" Johnson said on Tuesday, per Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle. "[...]The cops that killed Breonna Taylor they're still free living their best life. The ones that shot Jacob Blake are an example of why the cops that killed Breonna Taylor should have been arrested. They seen [sic] that them cops got off and they felt like it was ok to do what they were going to do instead of taking the right steps and arresting the man the right way.
"I feel like an example needs to be set," Johnson continued. "Cops need to be arrested just like they would arrest a Black man like me if I did something wrong." With this statement, Johnson joined several other athletes and organizations calling for arrests following Blake's shooting in Wisconsin on Sunday night.
The shooting occurred on Sunday night in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Cell phone footage captured the middle and the end of the incident, showing a police officer shooting Blake seven times in the back at close range as he tried to climb into an SUV. The officers then rendered aid before Blake was flown to the hospital.
The 29-year-old victim is now in stable condition. However, his father, also named Jacob Blake, said that he is paralyzed from the waist down. The family does not know if this is permanent. The officers are now on administrative leave while Wisconsin authorities conduct an investigation.
While Johnson spoke out at the beginning of and later in his Tuesday press conference, the Detroit Lions took a different approach. The team canceled practice altogether and gathered outside of the facility. The players and coaches stood in front of reporters with a massive whiteboard and wrote, "The World Can't Go On." They also added a later message and said that "We Won't Be Silent."
Milwaukee Bucks player George Hill also spoke about the shooting in his home state. He told reporters that the NBA should not have continued the season. "We can't do anything [from Orlando]," Hill said on Monday. "First of all, we shouldn't have even came to this d— place, to be honest. I think coming here just took all the focal points off what the issues are."