MILWAUKEE – LeBron James called a prosecutor's decision not to file charges against a white police officer who shot a Black man in Wisconsin this summer a “blow to the heart and to the gut.”
Back in Wisconsin, the Marquette men's basketball team wore black uniforms to protest the decision, and the NBA's Milwaukee Bucks said they plan to continue pushing for policy changes in law enforcement.
Jacob Blake, who is Black, was left paralyzed after being shot in the back on Aug. 23 by Kenosha police officer Rusten Sheskey, who is white.
The Bucks — who share Fiserv Forum with Marquette about 40 miles north of Kenosha — sat out an August first-round playoff game to protest the shooting. That led the NBA to postpone all games that day, and player-driven protests also led to postponements in the WNBA and Major League Baseball.
“I’m smart enough to know that even though we are playing a game of basketball that there’s so much more going on in the world,” James said Tuesday after his Los Angeles Lakers beat the Memphis Grizzlies 94-92. "So much more that’s even more important than us playing a game. To hear what happened in Kenosha today was a blow to the heart and to the gut, not only to that community, but to us and to every Black person that has been a part of this process, seeing these outcomes for so long.”
Kenosha County District Attorney Michael Graveley announced Tuesday that no charges would be filed because he couldn’t disprove Sheskey's contention that he acted in self-defense out of fear that Blake would stab him.
“It keeps happening. It's sad,” Los Angeles Clippers star Kawhi Leonard said. “Hopefully, in the future, we can get these guys to stop releasing fire on us. We got to change the people that are in the uniform.”
Marquette played its scheduled game Tuesday against UConn but said it was wearing black uniforms “in support of Jacob Blake, his family and the Kenosha community in reaction the announcement earlier today.”