Skip to content

A Statement From Arnold Ventures on the Shooting of Jacob Blake

Yet again, a Black man in America has suffered violence at the hands of an officer charged with protecting him. 

A screen grab from Aug. 26 ESPN2 coverage in Bradenton, Florida of the decision made by the six WNBA teams not to play in the wake of the shooting of yet another Black man in America. The Washington Mystics donned T-shirts spelling out the name of Jacob Blake, who was shot seven times in the back by a Kenosha, Wisc., policeman. Seven holes were cut out of the backs of their shirts, depictions of the seven bullet holes in Blake's back. (Courtesy Espn2/ZUMA Wire/Cal Sport Media via Associated Press)

Jacob Blake was shot seven times in the back by a police officer in Kenosha, Wisconsin. 

In front of his children.

Yet again, a Black man in America has suffered violence at the hands of an officer charged with protecting him. 

Yet again, Americans are calling for fundamental reforms to policing and a national reckoning with the legacy of racism that stains our criminal justice system.

We stand with the professional athletes in the NBA, WNBA, MLB, and other sports who went on strike to draw attention to this ongoing racial and civil rights crisis, and to compel government action. Their activism stands out as a serious and authoritative contribution. 

For too long, official negligence and institutional barriers have overshadowed the good actors within law enforcement and undermined reform. Our nation must spare no effort in its mission to tear down these barriers and build up systemic accountability. No police officer should be allowed to shoot a Black man simply because he wishes to; nor should any officer who does be able to evade justice.

Arnold Ventures is dedicated above all else to maximizing opportunity and minimizing injustice. Achieving these twin goals is not possible in the United States without addressing the systemic racism that shapes outcomes in criminal justice, health care, education, democracy, public policy, and all the fields in which we work. We will continue to use the tools at our disposal, including research, evidence, advocacy, and litigation, to dismantle these injustices and work toward true reform. Critical to these efforts is our commitment to supporting Black leaders and Black organizations.

Athletes, activists, and philanthropists are united in a broad-based citizens reform movement for racial justice, but the legislative change our nation needs can only be delivered by elected officials at the local, state, and federal levels.