James Blake, an African-American tennis icon, recently made headlines for something besides his numerous appearances in the singles finals — after the NYPD brutally tackled him for standing on a street corner and using his cell phone while also having skin darker than a freshly washed Klan hood. The former tennis player was in New York doing some press interviews before he headed to the U.S. open. As he stood outside the Grand Hyatt hotel, Blake stopped to answer some text messages.
Suddenly, Blake noticed a man running up to him:
“Maybe I’m naïve, but I just assumed it was someone I went to high school with or something who was running at me to give me a big hug, so I smiled at the guy,” Blake said. But the man didn’t say a word. “[He] just rushed me,” he recalled.
The man, later identified as
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