Doc Rivers delivered an impassioned plea for an end to police killings of African Americans following the shooting of Jacob Blake in Wisconsin on Sunday.
The Los Angeles Clipper’s coach spoke as Black man about racism in the United States and made the case for urgent change after Blake was shot seven times in the back.
“What stands out to me is just watching the Republican convention and they are spewing this fear. All you hear is Donald Trump and all of them talking about fear,” Rivers said following a game on Tuesday.
“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 shot. All you do is keep hearing about fear.”
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Rivers was clearly emotional but he persevered with a powerful commentary on racism and the police.
“It’s amazing why we keep loving this country, and this country does not love us back,” he said.
“It’s just 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. We have to demand better.”
He highlighted the need for police forces to change.
“The training has to change in the police force. The unions have to be taken down in the police force,” Rivers said.
“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 like they protect everybody else.”
“When you watch that video, it’s sickening. It’s sickening. You know his kids were there. How do they ever get that out of their mind. How will those kids ever be normal?” he said.
“If you watch that video, you don’t need to be Black to be outraged. You need to be American and outraged,” he went on.
“How dare the Republicans talk about fear. We’re the ones that need to be scared. We’re the ones that have 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 keeps going. There’s no charges. Breonna Taylor, nothing.”
He concluded by asking the country to “live up to the Constitution”
Darragh Roche is a journalist covering U.S. politics and media