Former Portland Trail Blazer Cliff Robinson

Cliff Robinson (KPTV image)

PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) – It’s a big ask for the city of Portland – and it has to do with a former Portland Trail Blazer and a run-in with police that happened more than 20 years ago.

A friend of Portland icon Cliff Robinson is asking the mayor to issue an apology for what he calls a case of racial profiling.

Chris Young is Robinson’s friend and social media manager.

He came up with the idea to start a petition to ask Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler to apologize for a highly-publicized police stop from the summer of 1997.

Robinson was in his car with friends near the waterfront, when he was stopped by police after someone reported that he had assault rifles.

Robinson actually had paintball guns and said he was on his way to play in a paintball league.

Police blocked his car and several officers surrounded him. They found marijuana inside and that sparked a national news story at the time.

Young believes it was a case of racial profiling, and even though it happened long ago, he says Robinson deserves an apology.

“As days turn into weeks and weeks turn to months and months to years, or Cliff’s case, decades, unfortunately people forget about it. But the person it happened to doesn’t forget about it. People bring it up and and say it was a long time ago and you need to get over it and move on, but the person it happens to doesn’t move on. It’s traumatic and stays with them for their life. Whether it happened last Tuesday or 20 years ago, if it’s wrong, it’s wrong,” Young said.

Young says he believes we are finally at the point as a society to address cases like this, and he hopes Mayor Wheeler will see it that way too and issue an apology on behalf of the city of Portland.

At last check, the petition had more than 900 signatures.

Copyright 2020 KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved.


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(7) comments

Frederick Fukov

I don't know which is more hilarious..that Cliff wants an apology for something that happened 23 years ago, for that wasn't racial profiling in the first place, or the fact that he needs a "social media consultant." Seriously? Dude was a mediocre, underachieving ball player that never reached his potential because he suffered from a bad case of arrested development. He was truly one of the most immature pro athletes I've ever witnessed. Remember what he said about Robert Horry before the Blazers-Rockets series? Then Horry went out and torched him. On top of that, Cliff was one of the ring leaders of the Jail Blazer era, along with JR Rider, Ruben Patterson, Rasheed Wallace, and Damon "Tin Foil" Stoudamire. I didn't care how good they were, and how close they came to winning a title. They were a complete embarrassment to this city for several years. Hey Cliff..where's OUR apology..from YOU?


First, I have no use for mayor Wheeler. But, if the cops were out of line, which they were not, he wasn't mayor at the time, so why should he offer an apology. That's like making people like me who never owned slaves pay retribution to black people that were never slaves.

Frederick Fukov

Oh..don't worry about the whole "reparations" thing. They're taking care of that themselves by way of all the looting.


Honk honk

Eliza Cassan

Uh, just maybe they stopped him because someone reported they had guns, and in fact they did have guns? Turned out to be paint-ball guns but how would the police know that without checking? If this is considered racism, there is no hope for America.

Sun Tzu

'Friend of former Blazer Cliff Robinson asking Portland mayor to issue apology for 1997 racial profiling' The police had no way of knowing if those guns were real or fake. So, no. No apology.


Really smart to be waving any kind of a "gun" in public. I would imagine that the Paint Ball Guns looked realistic so whomever reported it thought they were real guns. Not too uncommon in Portland. I would say: No Apology. Play your games somewhere else not in the city.

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