Raptors news: Pascal Siakam declares 'you must be blind' if you don't see racism
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Raptors’ Pascal Siakam declares ‘you must be blind’ if you don’t see racism

Pascal Siakam, Raptors

In the wake of the tragic death of George Floyd, Toronto Raptors star Pascal Siakam is just the latest professional athlete to speak out on the nation’s situation as a whole.

A Cameroonian born player, Siakam said he was profiled when he came to the United States because of his skin color, something he obviously did not have to experience in Cameroon, according to Eric Koreen of The Athletic. He added that it was sad to get used to and ultimately normalize.

The Raptors star then took things a step further, calling out racism for what it is:

“I’m sorry to say that if you don’t see (racism in society), you must be blind,” said the 26-year-old. “Watching that video, it hurts. I’m speechless just thinking about it.”

Floyd was killed by a police officer in Minneapolis last week. Since then, protests have broken out in most major cities across the country.

Siakam, who played his collegiate basketball at New Mexico State, was originally selected by the Raptors in the first round (27th pick overall) of the 2016 NBA Draft.

In his first couple of seasons, Siakam served primarily as a defensive stopper for Toronto. But during the 2018-19 campaign, he broke out, putting up 16.9 points and 6.9 rebounds per game while shooting 54.9 percent from the floor, 36.9 percent from 3-point range and 78.5 percent from the free-throw line en route to helping the Raptors win a championship.

Through 53 games before the NBA was suspended this season, Siakam was registering 23.6 points, 7.5 boards and 3.6 assists across 35.5 minutes a night while making 45.9 percent of his field goal attempts, 35.9 percent of his long-distance tries and 80.0 percent of his foul shots. He made his first All-Star Game in the process, and the Raptors currently sit in the No. 2 spot in the Eastern Conference.