Former American tennis player James Blake admits he is still shaken by his encounter with policeman in 2015, in which he was attacked after being mistakenly identified as a suspect in a credit card fraud scheme. Blake, who was in New York for the US Open, saw a man running toward him but he never suspected that it was a plainclothes New York City policeman.
''I thought someone was running at me that was a fan, someone that was going to say, 'Hey I saw you play so and so, I was at this match, my kid plays tennis,''' Blake told the Associated Press. ''I'm smiling with my hands down."
But Blake soon realized that it wasn't a fan when he was grabbed by the arm, thrown to the sidewalk and handcuffed. In the wake of the George Floyd death -- an African-American man who was killed by a White American police offers -- Blake started recalling his incident from five years ago.
"I went to bed very sad and very deflated, seeing this over and over again,'' Blake admitted. ''I woke up in the middle of the night and couldn't stop my mind from racing, thinking about the events that took place there, the events that took place with me in 2015.
''It saddens me to see that kind of policing is still going on, that kind of brutality, particularly how often it is aimed at the black and brown community.' '
James Blake admits the pain will always be there
It has been five years since the incident but Blake says it will never really go away and and there will always be fear when he sees a police officer.
''I would love to change this, but for the rest of my life, I'm probably going to be more nervous about any encounter I have with a police officer,'' Blake said. Blake was happy that none of his young daughters were with him when the incident happened.
''I haven't shown them the video of me getting taken down, because I don't know if they would understand it quite yet,'' Blake said. ''With what has been on the news the past week, my wife and I have started thinking about when we're going to start talking with them about a lot of these issues - police brutality and racism and what goes on in this country.'
' James Blake won 10 ATP titles and achieved a career-high ranking of No. 4 in the world during his successful career.