Utah Jazz star Donovan Mitchell announced Friday in a video post on social media that he has teamed up with Adidas to donate a portion of proceeds from his latest shoe release to the children of Jacob Blake to support their education.
Blake, 29, was shot in the back by a police officer who'd responded to a domestic call in Kenosha, Wisconsin, on Aug. 23. Four of the seven shots from the officer hit Blake's back, paralyzing him from the waist down. Blake is recovering at Froedtert Hospital in Milwaukee and is handcuffed to his hospital bed, his family reports.
The officer who shot Blake is on administrative leave from the incident that took place after Kenosha Police Department officers were dispatched to a residence in the 2800 block of 40th Street after a female caller reported that her boyfriend was present and was not supposed to be on the premises.
Professional athletes boycotted games after Blake's shooting including Mitchell and the NBA. RSL players banned together boycotting their game, forcing Wednesday's match with the Los Angeles FC to be canceled. A Major League Baseball game between the Milwaukee Brewers and Cincinnati Reds was also postponed when players agreed not to play. The Seattle Mariners also voted to sit out their Wednesday night game against the San Diego Padres.
"In today's climate, our actions mean everything," said Mitchell in his video. "People all over the world are asking the same question: How can I take action?"
In such trying times and turmoil, we must continue our efforts to bring awareness and change. Enough is enough, and we are tired.
Mitchell went on to say that for the first 45 hours of the #DONISSUE2 spidey-sense drop, that proceeds from sales will go to support the education of Blake’s children up to $45,000. Adidas is matching his contribution for a total of $90k.
"Education reform is something I really believe in and I believe will be able to help push our country and our future past the point we're at. Allowing kids to understand and be able to go into the same classrooms and be able to be taught at a level playing field is something I believe is the key to generational success and being able to push past racism, systemic racism, voter suppression and everything," Mitchell said in the video.
Mitchell was selected by the Denver Nuggets with the 13th overall pick in the 2017 NBA draft and was traded on draft night to the Utah Jazz.
During his rookie season, Mitchell was named to the NBA All-Rookie First Team and won the 2018 Slam Dunk Contest.