Blake Jacob

Jacob Blake speaks out for first time since Kenosha police shooting – Minneapolis Star Tribune

MILWAUKEE — Jacob Blake has spoken publicly for the first time since a Kenosha, Wisconsin, police officer shot him seven times in the back, saying he’s in constant pain from the shooting, which doctors fear will leave him paralyzed from the waist down.

In a video posted Saturday night on Twitter by his family’s lawyer, Ben Crump, Blake said from his hospital bed that, “Twenty-four hours, every 24 hours it’s pain, nothing but pain. It hurts to breathe, it hurts to sleep, it hurts to move from side-to-side, it hurts to eat.”

Blake, a 29-year-old father of six, also said he has staples in his back and stomach.

“Your life, and not only just your life, your legs, something you need to move around and forward in life, can be taken from you like this,” Blake said, snapping his fingers.

He added: “Stick together, make some money, make everything easier for our people out there, man, because there’s so much time that’s been wasted.”

Blake, who is Black, was shot in the back by a white police officer on Aug. 23 after walking away from the officer and two others who were trying to arrest him. The officer, Rusten Sheskey, opened fire after Blake opened his own SUV’s driver-side door and leaned into the vehicle. The shooting was captured on video and posted online, sparking several nights of protests and unrest in Kenosha, a city of about 100,000 between Milwaukee and Chicago.

Sheskey and the other officers who were at the scene were placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of an investigation by the Wisconsin Department of Justice. None of them have been charged.

Blake, who had an outstanding arrest warrant when he was shot, pleaded not guilty Friday to charges accusing him of sexually assaulting a woman in May and waived his right to a preliminary hearing. Blake appeared remotely via video conference from his Milwaukee hospital bed, wearing a dress shirt and tie. He spoke only to respond to the judge’s questions.

The state Justice Department has said a knife was recovered from Blake’s vehicle, but it has not said whether he was holding it when officers tried to arrest him.

The man who made the widely seen cellphone video of the shooting, 22-year-old Raysean White, said he saw Blake scuffling with three officers and heard them yell, “Drop the knife! Drop the knife!” before gunfire erupted. He said he didn’t see a knife in Blake’s hands.

The Kenosha police union said Blake had the knife and refused orders to drop it. Blake fought with police, including putting one officer in a headlock, the union said. Police twice used a Taser, which did not stop Blake.

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Blake Pitching

MLB Pitching Ace Blake Snell Refuses to Play for Reduced Pay During COVID-19 Shortened Season – Newsweek

Blake Snell, the ace pitcher for the Tampa Bay Rays, said he loves baseball to death. But Snell also said he doesn’t love it enough to play it for a reduced salary while having a chance to catch a virus that has caused more than 300,000 worldwide deaths so quickly.

Snell, the 2018 American League Cy Young Award winner for the league’s best pitcher, made his comments Wednesday night through a video on social media.

Tampa Bay Rays Blake Snell
Blake Snell #4 of the Tampa Bay Rays wipes his face in the dug out after he was relieved in the fourth inning of Game 2 of the ALDS against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park on October 05, 2019 in Houston, Texas.
Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images

The rant came after Major League Baseball proposed a 50-50 split of revenue during a shortened season.

For Snell, it means not earning the full potential of his $7 million for the 2020 season.

“Y’all gotta understand, man, for me to go—for me to take a pay cut is not happening, because the risk is through the roof,” Snell said through his Twitch channel. “It’s a shorter season, less pay.

“No, I gotta get my money. I’m not playing unless I get mine, OK? And that’s just the way it is for me. Like, I’m sorry you guys think differently, but the risk is way the hell higher and the amount of money I’m making is way lower. Why would I think about doing that?”

Though the 50-50 split is a proposal, it still must go before the Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA), which is expected to to nix the split proposal and counteroffer with a deal made in March that guaranteed players a prorated salary.

Baseball shut down indefinitely on March 12 with the growing COVID-19 pandemic, also known as coronavirus. Spring training was canceled with two weeks remaining, and the scheduled Opening Day of March 26 and start of the season has since been postponed.

MLB has stated it hopes to start back by July 4, and that a season would be reduced to 82 games—about half of a 162-game typical season.

Snell, 27, is entering the second season of his five-year contract that’s worth $50 million. Snell said he “loves baseball to death,” but not enough to “risk my life.”

“Bro, I’m risking my life,” the pitcher said. “What do you mean it should not be a thing? It should 100 percent be a thing. If I’m gonna play, I should be getting the money I signed to be getting paid. I should not be getting half of what I’m getting paid because the season’s cut in half, on top of a 33 percent cut of the half that’s already there—so I’m really getting, like, 25 percent.

“On top of that, it’s getting taxed. So imagine how much I’m actually making to play, you know what I’m saying?”

There is no state income tax in Florida, but federal income tax would still apply.

Snell later acknowledged his comments made him appear extremely greedy, but clarified his statements with a text to the Tampa Bay Times.

“I mean honestly it’s just scary to risk my life to get Covid-19 as well as not knowing and spreading it to the others,” Snell told the Times. “I just want everyone to be healthy and get back to our normal lives cause I know I miss mine!”

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