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LeBron James, Alvin Kamara among stars to demand justice after police shooting of Black man in Wisconsin

Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James was among those across sports on Monday to address the police shooting of a Black man identified as Jacob Blake in Wisconsin.

Protests took place in the state after the shooting, which occurred Sunday in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Officers responding to a domestic disturbance shot Blake in the back seven times as he tried to enter his vehicle. Video of the incident was distributed on social media and shared by Blake’s attorney, Ben Crump.

Blake was hospitalized in serious condition.

Hours after posting his thoughts on social media, James led the Lakers to a 135-115 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers in Game 4 that preceded an impassioned postgame interview on TNT.

“It’s what we’ve been talking about. And it’s what we’re gonna continue to talk about. Having two boys of my own, and me being an African-American in America; and to see what continues to happen with the policy brutality towards my kind; continue to see what goes on with the injustice — it’s very troubling. It’s very troubling,” said James, who helped the Lakers take a 3-1 series lead. “We play a beautiful game which brings so many families together, and people being able to rejoice and enjoy it. But at the same time, never losing track of what’s really going on in our world, especially here in America.”

James illustrated his bittersweet range of emotions after the victory, in which he posted 30 points, six rebounds and 10 assists.

“My prayers go to their family, and hopefully we can have some change. And I believe it starts with November,” he said, referring to Election Day. “I believe it starts with November; that’s why I started the initiative that I’m doing with ‘More Than A Vote’ — and getting people to understand what’s really at risk, and the change that we continue to talk about: Change.

“We have an opportunity to make change. But it still doesn’t stop there, even with whoever comes next.”

Earlier in the day, James, in retweeting Crump’s message, wrote, “And y’all wonder why we say what we say about the Police!! Someone please tell me WTF is this???!!! Exactly another black man being targeted. This s— is so wrong and so sad!! Feel so sorry for him, his family and OUR PEOPLE!! We want JUSTICE”.

Across the NFL, as training camps continued, several stars posted reactions, including a pair of New Orleans Saints, Alvin Kamara and Michael Thomas, with the former writing, “Attempted murder.. I pray he survives.”

Stop killing unarmed black people.

— Michael Thomas (@Cantguardmike) August 24, 2020

Kansas City Chiefs defensive back Tyrann Mathieu retweeted Thomas’ post and reacted through his Twitter page, asking, “Why can’t 3 officers subdue one male?”

Utah Jazz star Donovan Mitchell, who like James is in the midst of the first round of the playoffs, reacted on Twitter, saying, “F THE GAMES AND PLAYOFFS!!! THIS IS SICK AND IS A REAL PROBLEM WE DEMAND JUSTICE!”

Oklahoma City Thunder guard Chris Paul, moments after his team’s 117-114 win over the Houston Rockets in Game 4 that knotted their first-round series on Monday, addressed the incident in his postgame interview on TNT.

“I just want to send my prayers out to Jacob Blake and their family,” Paul said. “The things that we decided to come down here and play for — and said we were going to speak on, the social injustices — they are things that continue to happen, you know, to our people. It’s not right.”

After Miami eliminated the Indiana Pacers with a 99-87 victory in Game 4 on Monday, Heat forward Bam Adebayo was asked his thoughts on the incident.

“Just seeing that video, it’s ridiculous,” he said after posting 14 points, 19 rebounds and 6 assists. “Someone has to be held accountable when stuff like that happens. Someone has to be held accountable.”

Indiana guard Victor Oladipo concurred.

“What we’re fighting for, what we’re preaching, what we’re trying to change, it has not been changed yet,” he said after his team’s loss. “Wins and losses is tough, getting swept is tough; but at the end of the day, nobody’s dead. People are dying. This is not OK. We have to keep doing our part until change really comes.”

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