An emotional Fred VanVleet spoke out today, expressing frustration after a Black man was shot by police in the United States.
“It’s just starting to feel like everything’s going through the motions and nothing’s really changing,” the Raptors guard said on Tuesday.
“At what point do we not have to speak about it anymore? What are we willing to give up? Do we actually give a f*** about what’s going on? I don’t have the answers for you today. I’m in a different place today, emotionally speaking.”
VanVleet says he and the Raptors have privately discussed potential action to take ahead of Thursday’s Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals against the Boston Celtics, including boycotting the game entirely.
29-year-old Jacob Blake is in serious condition after police shot him in the back multiple times on Sunday, in an incident captured on video in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
Blake’s father told reporters today his son is paralyzed from the waist down as a result of the shooting.
Benjamin Crump, a civil rights attorney representing the family, said Blake’s three sons were in the car at the time of the shooting.
VanVleet went on to say he’s having a hard time thinking about basketball, adding: “Right now, (on Tuesday), I could care less (about the playoffs).”
WATCH: Fred VanVleet reflects on society’s response to Jacob Blake shooting
Mirroring his teammate, Raptors guard Norm Powell expressed a similarly passionate message, saying the shooting made him sick to his stomach.
“It’s frustrating. I am tired of sitting up here and talking about Black Lives Matter,” Powell told reporters.
“I’m tired of reading and seeing these incidents, and then seeing these officers being put on administrative leave. Like, okay, you killed somebody – go have a vacation and we will figure out what really happened.”
After his game on Monday, Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James said he’s terrified as a Black man in America.
“There were multiple moments where if they wanted to, they could’ve tackled him. They could’ve grabbed him,” James said.
“They could’ve done that. Why does it always have to get to a point where we see the guns firing and his family is there and the kids are there.”
Following the spate of violent incidents involving police and Black citizens, including, but not limited to Blake, George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and others, high profile athletes continue to urge and push for better police training and gun control.