In the hours following Kenosha teenager Kyle Rittenhouse’s acquittal on all five charges, NBA personnel and coaches voiced their displeasure with the verdict. The league itself made a statement on the not guilty verdict via their “Social Justice Coalition” in which the teenager was characterized as a vigilante. The NBA, along with several prominent players and coaches, have long been supportive of far left causes and were vocal supporters of the 2020 BLM riots.
“Our thoughts are with the families of those whose lives were taken in this tragedy. The right to peacefully protest is a bedrock of our democracy,” wrote James Cadogan, executive director of the NBA Social Justice coalition, in a statement. Cadogan went on to characterize the teenager’s actions as “vigilantism” and added that such acts were “unacceptable” in our society.
In addition to the league’s statement, Warriors coach Steve Kerr voiced his personal displeasure. “This is America,” Kerr said during a pre-game press conference on Friday. Kerr claimed that America was “heading down a dangerous path” as a result of the verdict. “It wasn’t a shocking verdict, but one that poses great risk going forward if we continue to go down this path. … States determining that people can just carry — even underaged people — weapons of war,” Kerr said. The three-time NBA coaching champion has routinely used his platform to campaign for left-wing causes.
Prior to the verdict, Lebron James mocked Rittenhouse and accused him of faking tears. James, who once tweeted “you’re next” regarding a Columbus Police Officer who shot a woman armed with a knife, was promptly rebuked for his comments. James has yet to weigh in on the verdict.
ESPN analyst Jalen Rose believed that Jacob Blake was dead, according to his on-air comments. “The Black Lives Matter protest was actually taking place because Jacob Blake was shot and killed by police officers,” Rose said. Blake — who was armed with a knife and attempting to kidnap a child when he was shot by Kenosha Police — was left paralyzed but is still alive. Despite the circumstances, and the fact that Blake had an active warrant for sexual assault at the time of the shooting, he was made into a martyr by the NBA. The league cancelled playoff games in order to show support for Blake after the Milwaukee Bucks opted not to play their game in an act of “protest.”
Kyle Rittenhouse was found not guilty on all five charges stemming from the shooting. Video footage, numerous witnesses and HD footage from an FBI drone all indicated that the incident began when Rittenhouse was attacked by convicted pedophile Joseph Rosenbaum. After Rosenbaum began to chase Rittenhouse, a shot was fired into the air by Joshua Ziminski, an arsonist, marking the first shot. From there, Rosenbaum cornered Rittenhouse and attempted to grab his rifle, promoting the teenager to open fire.