Wizards guard Bradley Beal described a police officer threatening to "f--- up' his day by arresting him during a 2018 traffic stop on a highway near Washington, D.C.
While the Wizards and Mystics marched on Washington Friday for social justice reform, Beal described his traffic stop from two years ago.
"Two years ago. I got pulled over on 495 and the officer asked me to step out of the vehicle. We're literally on the side of the highway. My wife, me and one of my friends," Beal said. "[The officer] comes up to me and says 'what if I f--- up your Monday and put you in a headline and arrest you right now?'"
"I didn't do anything, but because I was a Black athlete driving a nice vehicle, that's what he came up with. How am I supposed to respond to that? I would just be waking up on Monday morning with an ESPN headline 'Bradley Beal arrested because of interaction with police.'"
Beal noted that his experience is not atypical in the Black community.
"It doesn't just happen to me. It's everywhere," Beal said. "And we just have to stop being ignorant to the fact that it exists."
Beal was one of many Wizards and Mystics players to participate in Friday's march to the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial. Fellow guard John Wall walked alongside Beal, as did Wizards forward Rui Hachimura.
Friday's march coincided with Juneteenth, a holiday celebrating the day in 1865 when news of the Emancipation Proclamation was delivered to enslaved people in Galveston, Texas. Those in Galveston on that date were the last slaves to learn of the abolition of slavery across the Confederacy.
Beal is in his eighth season with the Wizards after being selected with the No. 3 pick in the 2012 NBA Draft. He is second in the NBA in scoring in 2019-20 at 30.5 points per game, and he is averaging a career high 6.1 assists.