Trail Blazers’ Damian Lillard discusses ongoing protests in Portland

Portland Trail Blazers superstar Damian Lillard discussed the ongoing protests during an interview, Wednesday.

“A few days ago, I was kind of just going through Twitter and I had a few people mention me and ask if I was aware of what was going on. I wasn’t until I saw a clip. I saw federal troops on the ground and people being picked up in unmarked vans and taken to undisclosed locations just because they feel like they need to get people off the streets.”

This quote from Damian Lilliard’s media availability, Wednesday, sums up how tragic the riots have gotten in the city of Portland, Oregon. The Pacific Northwest metropolitan hub has been ravaged by violence for 58 consecutive days in the wake of George Floyd’s death on Memorial Day. Protests swept across the United States in response to this to combat social injustice and police brutality.

Although a majority of the protests have been peaceful, some people took advantage of the situation to incite unnecessary violence. This has especially been the case in Portland and Seattle, both of which had rioters set up autonomous zones in the respective cities.

Damian Lillard attended protests in Portland before entering the NBA bubble

Lilliard was shocked to learn Portland has had a record number of days of protests. The Trail Blazers superstar recalled attending one himself and it being “all peaceful.”

“Everyone that I’ve seen video of has been peaceful,” Lilliard claimed. “I don’t understand why federal troops need to be on the ground and physically removing people from the streets. It’s unnecessary. It’s definitely a scary situation.”

Lilliard is someone who isn’t shy about stating his opinion, especially when it regards a situation affecting him or his city directly. The 6-foot-2 point guard from Oakland, California has expressed his loyalty to Portland on numerous occasions. Observing the chaos from the comfort of the NBA bubble in Orlando definitely seems to have affected him.

Lilliard acknowledged that he has been researching the situation more thoroughly to figure out the best ways to positively impact the community.

“It’s something that I’ve started looking into over the last few days,” the five-time All-Star said. “To learn more about it. But it definitely hurts to see people peacefully protesting something, and they’re not in the wrong for protesting, and to be manhandled and physically taken off the streets the way I saw in these video clips was disturbing.”

The Trail Blazers scrimmage the Indiana Pacers Thursday at 3:30 p.m. ET.  Their first of eight seeding games is slated for July 31 against the Memphis Grizzlies.

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