Damian Lillard is upset about the damage anti-Donald Trump protests have done to the city of Portland following his election on Tuesday.
The Trail Blazers point guard told ESPN that “I don’t think this is the solution” when asked about the massive protests in Portland that have turned violent and damaged property in the city.
“I think it’s very unfortunate that people have done some of the things they have done during the protest. A lot of harm and damage has been done,” Lillard told ESPN on Saturday. “I do understand their frustration, and I commend people wanting to come together for some kind of change. Tearing apart your own city just isn’t the place to begin, and also making your own city less of a safe place isn’t the answer.”
Many major cities throughout the country have protested since Trump won the electoral college early Wednesday. Though most protests have been peaceful, Portland has drawn attention for smashed car windows and other vandalism. Police used tear gas and flash bang canisters to disperse crowds on Friday night, and one person was shot early Saturday. Lillard said the shooting was particularly upsetting.
“For someone to be shot on the bridge lets you know it has gone too far,” Lillard said. “That could have been a kid out there or any person catching a stray bullet.”
Lillard was emotional in answering questions about the protests in what he called “his city.”
“Portland has been a great place since I’ve been here and long before, but this type of activity doesn’t even seem to fit the description of Portland,” Lillard said. “Especially when the majority of the people here voted for Hillary. So if this is an anti-Trump rally, then you’re probably harming the people that you side with in most cases. So again I share the same worry, but I don’t think this is the solution.”
Lillard’s concern for the police and the citizens they are supposed to protect is valid. The message that violence is not the answer in Portland is valid but so, too, is the frustration many feel about the state of the world right now. Hopefully Lillard continues to be a voice of reason for people in Portland and can help ease tensions in his city.