John Wall gives powerful response when asked about police brutality
Wall shared the reality of having to avoid predominantly white or wealthy neighborhoods for fear of being “targeted:”
“You’re telling me if I want to be a black kid to jog in a neighborhood, and I say, ‘okay, I want to cut through this white neighborhood, this rich neighborhood,’ and then all of a sudden, I’m targeted to get killed? Because I don’t belong there? Those are the kind of things I grew up with, like you wouldn’t go to this side of town where you wasn’t allowed. Why? We breathe the same air.”
The example John Wall used immediately calls to mind Ahmaud Arbery, a 25-year-old man who was out for a run in a South Georgia neighborhood before he was chased down and shot by a group of white men.
Arbery’s death is unfortunately just one of many examples of unarmed, Black Americans being killed. The latest incident came last Monday in Minneapolis, when George Floyd died in police custody after an officer knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes.
But John Wall’s statement speaks to the systemic issues of racial injustice, as well as how police officers respond to Black citizens whom they might deem “out of place.”
Protests continue in major cities around the country, including Washington, D.C. Athletes like Wall are using their platforms to share their experiences as well as engaging in the call for reform.