Beal has impassioned words after police shooting of Daunte Wright originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington
As protests continued through the night in Minneapolis following the shooting of a young Black man named Daunte Wright by a police officer during a traffic stop, Wizards star Bradley Beal took several minutes at the end of his postgame press conference following a win over the Utah Jazz to speak on racial injustice in America.
Beal has been at the forefront of NBA players who have spoken out about incidents of police brutality and social justice, particularly in the last calendar year. He was once again frustrated and saddened by another death that he believes could have been prevented.
Beal began by saying he agreed with the decision made to postpone Monday's game between the Timberwolves and Bucks.
"I think that’s a no-brainer. I haven’t seen the footage of what actually happened with Daunte, but just hearing about what happened – I’m not a police officer, but it’s very hard for you to mistake a taser for a gun. I don’t know. I’m not about to sit here and say all police are like that. In that situation, I don’t know, I’m not falling for that one," Beal said.
"It’s kind of ironic, in the last few years there’s been a lot of those stories coming up. Somebody’s fatally shot without having a weapon because the officer thought it was a taser. S---, should we take tasers and guns from police, too, then? What is the ultimate, like what is the end game here? It’s frustrating, it’s annoying, it continues to happen. It’s bulls---, honestly. I don’t know. America needs to be better and we’ve gotta fix our police system ASAP."
Beal paused as a member of the Wizards public relations staff called on a reporter to ask another question. But then Beal spoke again, this time about a traffic stop that took place in December in Windsor, Va., where a Black man serving in the U.S. military was pepper sprayed and kicked by police officers despite cooperating with their demands.
"I’ve even got another one. Even the fellow troop that was arrested and the officer said ‘yeah, you should be scared.’ That’s bulls---, because here you have a guy who literally lives and fights to protect so we can wake up every damn day. What if he decides to use his military skills on those police officers? Would he be in the wrong? Like, where does it stop? You have somebody who protects us in the military. Would you trade spots with him? But you’ve got a gun in your hand and there’s a lot of power behind that gun," Beal said.
The Wizards beat the Jazz on the road in what was a sizable upset against the NBA's best team. But clearly, Beal had more important things on his mind.