NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — First there was Sheldon Richardson — then there was Amar’e Stoudemire.
Both New York-area sports stars are upset about the police-involved killings of unarmed black men over the last few months that have rocked the cultural landscape of the country.
Richardson, the Jets’ outspoken defensive tackle, has let his feelings be known on the shooting of unarmed teenager Michael Brown by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri. That officer, Darren Wilson, was not indicted by a grand jury, touching off days of protests and violence in the St. Louis suburb, and further demonstrations around the country.
On Thursday, Richardson stood by his controversial comments, and even took his opinions further.
Closer to home, New York City has been dealing with several days of protests following a grand jury’s decision not to indict NYPD Officer Daniel Pantaleo, who was seen on video putting an apparent chokehold on father of six Eric Garner on Staten Island back in July. Garner later died, touching off heated emotions around the city.
As a result of the grand jury’s decision, the five boroughs have been ground zero for demonstrations, leading to hundreds of arrests and travel disruptions in Manhattan alone.
Stoudemire made it clear where he stands on the issue during an interview with reporters on Thursday.
“I’m pretty upset that I’m not protesting right now with the rest of the guys out there in New York,” he told ESPN.
The 13-year veteran, who is averaging 13.1 points per game this season, then explained why.
“I think it’s something that’s — it’s very alarming in our country as far as that’s concerned. We have to be more conscientious of what the law enforcement’s job is, and that’s to protect and serve,” Stoudemire said. “Those two words are very strong when you think about that. Your first job is to protect and your second job is to serve. Obviously it’s not happening that way.”
Protests in New York City and around the country were expected to continue Friday, and possibly all weekend.
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