PORTLAND, Ore. – As Portland’s streets have been taken over by protests and riots the four nights since Donald Trump’s election victory, the Rose City’s biggest sports star spoke out on what he’s seen.
In an interview with ESPN.com, Damian Lillard said he praised protesters for wanting to enact change but didn’t agree with the violence and destruction that has been caused by some protesters.
"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. "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."
Freeways were closed due to marching protesters Wednesday morning and night. Protesters smashed windows and vandalized property during riots on Thursday night. And Friday night, hours after the Blazers’ overtime win against the Sacramento Kings, one protester was shot on the Morrison Bridge.
"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 has been vocal of his love for Portland since coming to Rip City. But he said what’s transpired this week doesn’t represent the Portland he loves.
"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."