Moe Harkless Detailed Getting ‘Targeted By Officers’ When He Lived In Portland

After NBA players decided to go on strike instead of play three scheduled playoff games on Wednesday, Knicks forward Moe Harkless took to Instagram to document his confrontation with Portland police during his time playing for the Trail Blazers.

Harkless explained that as he headed toward the Trail Blazers’ arena with his 12- and 14-year-old nephews, officers pulled him over before he could even pull onto the freeway and toward the Moda Center in downtown Portland, and would not explain why. The officers demanded his license and registration but would not answer questions regarding what he had done wrong.

It was only after they checked his records and realized he was a star for the local NBA team that he was allowed to leave and received an apology from the officer.

“See why we can’t ‘just play,'” Harkless said in his Instagram post. “Because even when we do, we’re still looked at as less when we step off that court, we’re still targeted by officers when we step foot off that court.”

Harkless is not in the Bubble, but his story is yet another from Black athletes — some of whom, like Sterling Brown of the Milwaukee Bucks and Thabo Sefolosha of the Houston Rockets, play in the NBA — who have been racially profiled and treated aggressively by law enforcement.