San Antonio community leaders, sports figures show support for NBA strike

Protests follow shooting of Jacob Blake

SAN ANTONIO – “We demand change.” It’s the message being uttered by local sports figures and community leaders in support of NBA players refusing to play.

Professional athletes in nearly every major sport sat out on Wednesday to protest police brutality and racial injustice following the shooting of an unarmed Black man. The latest incident happened in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

“Enough is enough for me. It’s been enough. I’ve been tired. I’ve been sick of it,” said East Side native John Roberson. Roberson is a former New Mexico State All-American basketball player, and the father of Andre Roberson who currently plays for the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Now, Roberson is putting championship goals for his son aside, supporting NBA teams actively boycotting the season.

“We have to address this big elephant in the room, you know, whether it’s gray, pink, whatever it is, we’ve got to address the root, because I’m tired of seeing young men of color being killed,” Roberson said.

The decision to boycott comes after the police shooting of another unarmed Black man Sunday. It’s unclear when the season will resume.

RELATED: AP source says NBA postponing Thursday’s postseason games

The latest victim, Jacob Blake, is now paralyzed from the waist down his father said.

Director of the San Antonio Fatherhood Initiative Ramon Vasquez, says is important for those with influence to set the example.

Like Roberson, Vasquez believes addressing the issues head on will help the leaders of tomorrow break the cycle of unfair treatment.

“We need to follow as well... The leaders of tomorrow are not sitting in executive directors chairs behind organizations. They’re out there on the streets right now,” Vasquez said.

Streets that many say leave people of color vulnerable to police brutality and unfair treatment. Though there is optimism that through protest, equity shall overcome, one day, Roberson said.

“It’s important that the players let their voices be heard,” Roberson said.

RELATED: Police largely silent as outrage builds over Blake shooting

About the Authors:

Luis Cienfuegos is a photographer at KSAT 12.