Damian Lillard joins Portland protests over murder of George Floyd on Thursday

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Protesters who gathered in southeast Portland for an eighth night of protests on Thursday had one of Portland’s most popular figures. Portland Trail Blazers star Damian Lillard joined the rally and walked with the group of protesters at Waterfront Park.

Putting on a duck blue mask, Lillard walked among the walkers as thousands of people made their way from Revolution Hall, across the Morrison Bridge and into downtown Portland.

As the march crossed Morrison Bridge, the crowd stopped around 7:15 p.m. Lillard walked to the front row and tied her arms with the people next to him, including a young girl. Together, the crowd chanted, “I can’t breathe.”

The basketball star and rapper has previously spoken about racism and political protests, including the role of athletes in amplifying these issues. In 2014, he and several of his teammates wore shirts with the phrase “I Can’t Breathe” for a pre-game warm-up in Minneapolis against the Minnesota Timberwolves. This sentence referred to Eric Garner, a black man who was killed by New York police.

This story will be updated.

—Jayati Ramakrishnan; 503-221-4320; [email protected]; @JRamakrishnanOR

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