LeBron James is not happy despite the Los Angeles Lakers being on the verge of winning their playoff series against the Portland Trail Blazers. After the team's Game 4 win, James opened up about the shooting of Jacob Blake, a Black man from Wisconsin who was shot by police officers on Sunday. James said what happened is an example of why Black people are afraid when encountering the police.
"I know people get tired of hearing me say it, but we are scared as Black people in America," James said to reporters. "Black men, Black women, Black kids, we are terrified." Blake was shot by police in Kenosha, Wisconsin when trying to enter the driver's side of his vehicle. The officers were responding to a domestic disturbance call. Blake's father, also named Jacob Blake, said his son was shot eight times and is paralyzed from the waist down.
"If you're sitting here and telling me that there was no way to subdue that gentleman or detain him or just before the firing of guns, then you're sitting here and lying to not only me, but you're lying to every African American, every Black person in the community," James said. "Because we see it over and over and over." James went on to say that based on what he saw in the video, there were "multiple moments" where the officers "could have tackled him" which then led to him asking "why does it always have to get to a point where we see the guns firing?"
Another thing James mentioned is if the shooting would have grabbed national attention if it wasn't caught on camera. James noted the lack of body camera footage on the scene, and Kenosha mayor John Antaramian said the police department was budgeted to add body camera equipment in 2022. But despite the Blake situation, James is still focused on the task at hand.
"I still have a job to do because I'm here. Because I committed. And when I commit to something, I feel like I have to come through. That's just who I am," James said. "But that does not mean that I don't see what's going on and I won't say anything or continue to use my platform, continue to use my voice and continue to uplift all of the other athletes to let them know that they can say and do what's right and not fear what other people's opinions are."