After Los Angeles Clippers coach Doc Rivers watched his team dismantle the Dallas Mavericks in the NBA playoffs Tuesday night, he got emotional in talking to reporters. The topic wasn’t the 43-point victory but the shooting of Jacob Blake by police in Wisconsin, the GOP and the state of racial politics in the United States.
“It’s just so sad,” he said during the virtual postgame presser. “What stands out to me is just watching the Republican convention, viewing this fear. All you hear is Donald Trump and all of them talking about fear. We’re the ones getting killed. We’re the ones getting shot. We’re the ones that we’re denied to live in certain communities. We’ve been hung. We’ve been shot. All you do is keep hearing about fear. It’s amazing why we keep loving this country, and this country does not love us back. It’s really so sad. Like, I should just be a coach. I’m so often reminded of my color. It’s just really sad. We got to do better. But we got to demand better.”
His remarks begin at the 2:30 mark in the video above.
Rivers, a former NBA player who has coached the Clippers since 2013 and hasn’t been shy about speaking out on social issues, wasn’t done.
“It’s funny,” he added. “We protest. They send riot guards. They send people in riot outfits. They go up to Michigan with guns. They’re spitting on cops. Nothing happens. The training has to change in the police force. The unions have to be taken down in the police force. My dad was a cop. I believe in good cops. We’re not trying to defund the police and take all their money away. We’re trying to get them to protect us, just like they protect everybody else. I didn’t want to talk about it before the game because it’s so hard, like, to just keep watching it.
“That video, if you watch that video, you don’t need to be Black to be outraged,” Rivers continued, his eyes tearing up and voice cracking.. “You need to be American and outraged. How dare the Republicans talk about fear. We’re the ones that need to be scared. We’re the ones having to talk to every black child. What white father has to give his son a talk about being careful if you get pulled over? It’s just ridiculous. It just keeps going. There’s no charges. Breonna Taylor, no charges, nothing. All we’re asking is you live up to the Constitution. That’s all we’re asking for everybody, for everyone.”
Blake’s father said Tuesday that his son, who was shot seven times in the back by Kenosha police in front of his young sons, is paralyzed from the waist down.
Trump’s Twitter feed was jammed with clips from the Republican National Convention, but he did manage one comment Tuesday about the situation — not on the Blake shooting itself but the ensuing multiple nights of protest. “Governor should call in the National Guard in Wisconsin!” he wrote. “It is ready, willing, and more than able. End problem FAST.”