Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo has spoken of his fear for his son growing up in the U.S. as a Black man in the current social, racial and political climate.
The past two days were memorable for the nation, albeit for vastly different factors.
On Tuesday, district attorneys chose not to file criminal charges against the officer who shot Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin, in August.
A Black guy, Blake was left paralyzed after being shot in the back at point-blank variety 7 times by officer Rusten Sheskey as he opened the door of his automobile.
Video of the shooting, which happened in front of Blake’s 3 kids who remained in the back seat, stimulated a number of days of demonstration in Kenosha.
Kenosha County District Lawyer Michael Graveley decided not to press criminal charges versus Sheskey nor Brittany Meronek and Vincent Arenas, the other two officers at the scene.
On Wednesday, a mob of Donald Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol and temporarily halted the tallying of Electoral College votes to accredit Joe Biden as the winner of last November’s presidential election.
Like the rest of America, Antetokounmpo watched the riots unfold on TV and was left surprised and concerned by what he saw.
” My kid is going to grow up here in America and my kid is Black,” he told reporters after the Bucks’ 130-115 win over the Detroit Pistons.
” I can not envision my kid going through what I see on TELEVISION. And if while I’m living I can do something about it to alter it for the much better [to the extent] I can doing, I’m going to do it. I’m going to speak up about it.”
Back in August, Bucks gamers boycotted Game 5 of their first-round playoff series versus the Orlando Magic to require justice for Blake’s shooting. The franchise reiterated its stance on social justice and authorities cruelty following Graveley’s verdict.
” The Bucks company stays strongly against excessive usage of force by police,” the Bucks said in a declaration on Tuesday. “This past year clarified the continuous racial injustices facing our African American and other marginalized communities.
” Reoccurring instances of extreme use of force and immediate escalation when engaging the Black neighborhood should stop. We will continue to work to enact policy modification so these events no longer exist.
” As a company, we stay strongly devoted to resolve issues of social injustice and anti-racism and to make meaningful modification for African Americans and all marginalized members of our neighborhood.”
Speaking on Wednesday night, Antetokounmpo included: “We understand it’s time for modification. Whenever we see something that’s not right, we’re going to use our platform and utilize our weight.
” I believe the NBA and the Milwaukee Bucks give us a great platform to talk about anything that troubles us and this [racially inequality] actually troubles me.”
The two-time MVP was simply among a number of NBA players and coaches to speak out in the after-effects of the riots in Washington, D.C.
Philadelphia 76 ers head coach Doc Rivers pointed out the inconsistency in how Trump advocates were dealt with, compared to the method police dealt with mostly tranquil protests over the summertime.
On Wednesday, Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy and acting defense secretary Christopher C. Miller took the decision to release the D.C. National Guard to support the local cops. Substantially, The New York Times reported the order had actually been authorized by Vice President Mike Pence and not Trump, who apparently rebuffed a demand to activate the force instead.
The National Guard was deployed in Kenosha as protests emerged following Blake’s shooting in August and was again activated earlier this week ahead of the choice on whether to submit criminal charges against the officer who shot Blake.
It was also released in the nation’s capital in August ahead of a major Black Lives Matter protest.
” It essentially shows a point about a fortunate life in a great deal of methods,” Rivers said.
” I will state it, since I don’t believe a great deal of individuals want to: Can you picture today, if those were all Black people storming the Capitol, and what would have taken place? That, to me, is a picture that’s worth a thousand words for all of us to see, and probably something for us to consider once again.”
Atlanta Hawks head coach Lloyd Pierce echoed the belief.
” There’s a reason there isn’t shootings and brutality and looting and things of that nature, and individuals are simply walking around the Capitol as if it’s nothing,” he said.
” We all understand that would’ve been guns ablaze and fires ablaze right now if that was Black individuals opposing. If that was Black individuals objecting on the outside– we haven’t even mentioned people getting in and tearing up the [Capitol] building.”