Blazers: Cliff Robinson requests apology from Portland mayor for 1997 racial profiling incident

Cliff Robinson, Portland Trail Blazers (Photo Credit: DAN LEVINE/AFP via Getty Images)
Cliff Robinson, Portland Trail Blazers (Photo Credit: DAN LEVINE/AFP via Getty Images) /

Former Blazer great Cliff Robinson is requesting an apology from the mayor of Portland, contesting a racial profiling incident from 1997. Will it come into fruition?

As many of our favorite Portland Trail Blazers players are standing up to protest racial inequality and police brutality in 2020, one former great — Cliff Robinson — continues to fight his own battle from 1997.

In that summer, Robinson contested that the police overdid a search that led to a marijuana citation, a story that’s begun to generate buzz this week, particularly during the divisive times in today’s world.

Yesterday, Uncle Cliffy, Robinson’s verified marijuana brand, put out their petition, courtesy of his communications guy, Chris Young. Robinson hopes to receive an apology from Ted Wheeler, the mayor of Portland and the Portland Police Department. The link to that can be found below.

To summarize, Robinson says that he, his brother and his friends were headed to play paintball, when, in Bob Baum’s AP News story in 1997, he said the following happened:

"“The next thing I knew, there were 10 cop cars around us with guns pointing at us in the middle of Front. I didn’t know what’s going on. I was totally scared. This has never happened to me before.″"

The police found four paintball guns in Robinson’s Humvee truck, and cited Robinson as the holder, despite it being across the car.

"“If you look and see how wide that Hummer is, the marijuana was found in the passenger door armrest. If it was mine, I don’t see why I would put it all the way over there.″"

This served as one of the many incidents that played into Portland’s media-created reputation as the “Jail Blazers.”  Robinson had hoped at the time that the police’s perceived overdoing wouldn’t affect that.

Next. Game-for-game picks for Portland's 8-game schedule. dark

Even though Robinson’s career as a Blazer had come to an end, he’d have many more prime years in his career, particularly in Phoenix, where he made the All-Defensive Second Team on two separate occasions.