Active and retired players and coaches from professional sports leagues throughout the United States Monday responded to the fatal police shooting of Daunte Wright, largely expressing a combination of rage, revulsion and a fervent desire for reform.
San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich, an Air Force veteran, said the killing “makes you sick to your stomach,” before asking, “How many times does it have to happen?” adding, “We just keep moving on, as if nothing is happening.”
Doug Baldwin Jr., a former All-Pro wide receiver for the Seattle Seahawks, tweeted, “If you don’t know the difference between a taser and a gun in your hand, then you should not be a police officer.”
In a statement, the Minnesota Vikings said they were “heartbroken by the senseless killing,” and that was “yet another tragic reminder of the drastic need for change in law enforcement training and police relations, specifically within the Black community.”
“I’m not saying at all that all cops are bad—I’m not saying that one bit—but this is a reoccurring thing that happens in America, and that needs to change,” said Golden State Warriors forward Eric Paschall.
Philadelphia 76ers coach Doc Rivers, whose father was a former Chicago police lieutenant, said “we keep making mistakes by killing Black people,” and “we have to stop saying it’s frustrating for all Black Americans. I think we should be frustrated for all Americans.
“You keep hearing this cancel culture stuff, but we’re canceling Black lives,” Rivers told reporters, “That’s a little more important in my opinion, and it just keeps happening.”
Daunte Wright, a 20-year-old Black man, was fatally shot Sunday afternoon at a traffic stop in a suburb of Minneapolis, Minnesota. At a press conference Monday afternoon, Brooklyn Center Police Chief Tim Gannon said the officer that fired the fatal shot, Kim Potter, a 26-year veteran of the force, intended to fire a Taser instead of a gun. “This appears to me, from what I viewed and the officer’s reaction in distress immediately after, that this was an accidental discharge,” said Gannon. The Minnesota Twins, Minnesota Timberwolves and Minnesota Wild all postponed games scheduled to be played Monday night. “Out of respect for the tragic events that occurred yesterday in Brooklyn Center, and following the additional details in this evolving situation, the Minnesota Twins have decided it is in the best interest of our fans, staff, players and community to not play today’s game,” the Twins said in a statement.
What To Watch For:
The Timberwolves vs. Brooklyn Nets game in Minnesota that was postponed Monday has been rescheduled for Tuesday afternoon.
“I think we’re on the precipice of being Rome,” said Rivers. “It’s over unless we find some leadership and some common sense and some fiber and some people that can steer us in the right direction.”