LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — The Los Angeles Clippers won Game 5 of their opening round series against the Dallas Mavericks on Tuesday night 154-111, but the game was far from the only thing on coach Doc Rivers’ mind afterwards.
Rivers, speaking to the media, took time to address the shooting of Jacob Blake by police in Kenosha, Wisconsin this weekend saying that seeing another incident like this hurts, even more so when watching the message coming out of the Republican National Convention.
“It’s just so sad. What stands out to me is just watching the Republican convention and they’re spewing 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 are denied to live in certain communities. We’ve been hung, we’ve been shut. And, 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 just…it’s really so sad.”
— LA Clippers (@LAClippers) August 26, 2020
Blake was shot seven times by officers in a video that shows him unarmed and walking back towards his vehicle while surrounded by three officers. Blake’s father says his son is now paralyzed from the waist down and protests have renewed as citizens call for justice following another shooting of a Black citizen by police officers. Rivers continued on saying that really, it shouldn’t have to be this way. He called for changes to the way that police officers are trained while stating unequivocally that he is not asking for police departments to be completely defunded.
“I should just be a coach. And, it’s so often I’m reminded of my color. It’s just really sad. We got to do better. But we have to demand better. It’s funny, we protest and they send riot guards. They send people in riot outfits. They go to Michigan with guns and they’re spitting on cops and nothing happens,” said Rivers. “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 of their money away. We’re trying to get them to protect us, just the way they protect everybody else.”
Rivers ended with an admonishment of Republicans for talking about fear while also calling for the country to live up to the principles set forth in its founding document.
“I didn’t want to talk about it before the game because it’s so hard to keep watching it. That video, if you watch that video, you don’t need to be Black to be outraged. You need to be American to be outraged. How dare the Republicans talk about fear. We’re the ones that need to be scared,” said Rivers. “We’re the ones that need 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. And it just keeps getting, keeps going. There’s no charges. Breonna Taylor, no charges, nothing. All we’re asking is you live up to the Constitution for everybody, for everyone.”