In the wake of the shooting of Jacob Blake, Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James says as a Black man in the United States he is "terrified" of police brutality and violence. As Blake, a Black man, was trying to enter the driver's side door of his vehicle, he was shot seven times on Sunday in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
"I know people get tired of hearing me say it, but we are scared as Black people in America," James said, per ESPN. "Black men, Black women, Black kids, we are terrified." "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. "If you watch the video, there were multiple moments where if they wanted to, they could've tackled him. They could've grabbed him. You know? They could've done that.
And why, why does it always have to get to a point where we see the guns firing?"
James says he is in the NBA playoffs but he will keep using his voice for social justice
The Lakers beat the Portland Trail Blazers 135-115 in Game 4 to take a 3-1 lead in their first round series.
James is determined to win his fourth NBA championship but underlines he will keep using his voice and platform to call for social justice. "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."
James admits it's a process but he hopes positive changes will start to happen. "I hope I can continue to uplift my community, uplift communities all over America, uplift the Black community," James said. "It's not like it's going to happen tomorrow.
But being organized and having a plan and keeping our feet on the gas pedal is something that we've got to do."