Jalen Rose made his stance known during Game 4 of the Eastern Conference finals on Wednesday night.
The former player-turned NBA analyst wants the officers who killed Breonna Taylor earlier this year arrested.
Rose joined in on the calls for justice following the controversial grand jury ruling in Taylor’s case in Louisville, Kentucky, on Wednesday, yelling out the phrase that has become a rallying cry in recent months during halftime of the Miami Heat’s 112-109 win over the Boston Celtics at Walt Disney World.
— Yahoo Sports (@YahooSports) September 24, 2020
“It’d also be a great day to arrest the cops who killed Breonna Taylor,” Rose yelled before ESPN cut to commercial.
Jalen Rose: ‘Blacks are hurting’
A Louisville grand jury indicted former detective Brett Hankinson on three felony charges of wanton endangerment on Wednesday afternoon following his involvement in the shooting that killed Taylor in March.
The charges, however, aren’t actually related to her death. They are for him allegedly endangering neighbors when he fired shots inside Taylor’s apartment while he and others executed a no-knock warrant amid a drug investigation. No drugs were found in the apartment.
Hankinson, along with Detective Myles Cosgrove and Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly, fired 32 shots into Taylor’s apartment that night while she was asleep with her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker. Walker told authorities that he asked the officers, who he presumed were intruders, to identify themselves before he opened fire in self-defense. Police then returned fire, killing Taylor.
Taylor’s death, along with several others, sparked widespread outrage and protests across the country this summer, something that was quickly reignited on Wednesday after the news broke. Countless prominent athletes and sports figures — including LeBron James, Colin Kaepernick, Steve Kerr and others — quickly spoke out on social media and elsewhere about the officers escaping charges.
Rose addressed the situation before the game, too, making a powerful statement on ESPN’s “NBA Countdown.”
"I just want people to know that Blacks are hurting. As we relate it to sports, that sports that are predominantly Black — the WNBA, the NBA and the NFL — all of those players are performing with heavy hearts," he said. "We're still showing up to try and do our jobs.
“And I was in that position, I can't lie to y’all. I was looking in my closet like, 'I am going to wear something fresh today because if I say something to get me fired, then I was crisp.’”
"We’re starting the game, it’s 400 years of slavery to zero. We know we not gon’ win, but you still got to continue to move the ball forward and put people behind you in a position to be successful. That’s what the NBA players are doing today. ... I applaud them." - @JalenRose pic.twitter.com/kNWQiMdYsf
— The Undefeated (@TheUndefeated) September 24, 2020
Rose also compared the situation to the Jacob Blake shooting in Wisconsin earlier this summer, and the 17-year-old Illinois boy who allegedly shot and killed two people during protests that ensued in Kenosha in the aftermath.
Seeing both side-by-side, he said, is a perfect example of how Black people are treated in the country.
"Because when Kyle Rittenhouse in Milwaukee, as a 17-year-old, kills two people and yet three cops aren't directly charged for killing Breonna Taylor, it shows you how they feel about Black lives in America," Rose said. "So I want to encourage people to do out there … It’s 400 years of slavery to 0. We know we are not going to win, but we still have to continue to move the ball forward and put people behind you in a position to be successful.
"That's what we are here to do today. That's what the NBA players are doing today. And that's why I applaud them. Because while they're out here performing and trying to win a championship, I understand that this is really painful to show up to work and still try to entertain."
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