James Blake speaks out on police violence

The former tennis star was tackled outside a New York City hotel five years ago in a case of mistaken identity but has since made it his mission to speak out on police brutality.
3:06 | 05/31/20

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Transcript for James Blake speaks out on police violence
Former tennis star James Blake made headlines in 2015 when a plainclothes police officer tackled him outside of a New York City hotel. In a takedown that was a case of mistaken identity. The NYPD apologizing, but leading Blake on a mission. He joins us right now. It's been five years since the incident with the NYPD, seeing what's happening here in Minnesota and all across the country, what's going on in your mind today? Well, it just brings back those memories. I have them very often. I think of what could have happened to me if I didn't fight back. It's just scary for me to think of. It's scary for every person who's black and brown who's scared of these encounters every day. What could happen from a $20 counterfeit. Turning into your death. It shows the lack of accountability. This officer had I believe 17 citations before this and wasn't really punished and then what's to stop him from thinking he'd get away with this? If we didn't have the video there's a chance he may have. I'm thankful there's video, I'm thankful people are using this opportunity to protest. I'm very appreciative of the protesters, not so much with the rioters. I think we have the right to protest and stand up and act out to affect change and I hope the protesters also know the next opportunity to affect change is November, when we can vote. Vote for leaders that represent us. And what we need to change. When your situation happened you said you wanted to be a catalyst for change between police and the public. You even wrote a book, "Ways of grace: Stories of activism, adversity, and how sports can bring us together." What are your suggestions for change? Well, I think there's plenty of opportunity. There are so many community organizations, I think anyone can go and join, look up what you can do in your own community, whether it's donating money, donating time, being a part of something, running for something. You can vote but you could also run for a local office and do something that can actually make a difference in your own community. I just wanted to do what I could as an athlete using my platform. So many athletes can reach a lot more people and have a direct connection to them. Lot of people don't have that connection with some of the politicians. The mayor of Atlanta doing an unbelievable job connecting with the community. Athletes use those connections, use the power of social media. Use the power of being on TV. However you can do it. Make a difference in any sort of a positive way. I think you can't ignore that people are pushing for change with all of these protests happening across the country. Mr. Blake, thank you so much for being with us this morning.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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