After the L.A. Clippers easily beat the Dallas Mavericks in Tuesday's Game 5 of this first-round NBA Playoffs series, the conversation shifted to the recent shooting of Jacob Blake and the fight for racial justice in America. Clippers coach Doc Rivers displayed raw emotions, welling eyes and frustration in an answer that lasted for over three minutes.
"What stands out to me is just watching the Republican convention, viewing this fear,'' Rivers said. "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 we're denied to live in certain communities.
"We've been hung. We've been shot. All you do is keep hearing about fear."
Rivers continued: "It's amazing why we keep loving this country, and this country does not love us back. It's really so sad.''
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Rivers' father Grady served 30 years as a police officer in Maywood, Illinois. As one of the most respected leaders in the NBA, Rivers' impassioned speech has resonated through the league and the sports world.
The NBA restarted its season in the Orlando bubble amid a cry for racial justice sparked by the police killings of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor. Players have worn messages on their jerseys and shoes to use the platform as a tool for social justice. The issue came to the forefront again when a video emerged of Blake, a 29-year-old Black man, being shot in the back seven times by Wisconsin police on Sunday.
"The training has to change in the police force," Rivers said. "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 their money away. We're trying to get them to protect us, just like they protect everybody else. I didn't want to talk about it before the game because it's so hard, like, to just 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 and outraged."