A day after NBA and MLB teams halted play in response to Jacob Blake’s shooting, the Bears, Broncos, Cardinals, Chargers, Colts, Jets, Packers, Titans and the Washington Football Team chose to cancel practice on Thursday. Numerous other teams adjusted their schedule to make time to discuss Blake’s shooting as well as other issues regarding social injustice. 

On Thursday afternoon, the NFL and NFLPA issued a joint statement supporting the players’ handling of the situation. 

“The NFL community is united more than ever to support one another in these challenging times. We share anger and frustration, most recently as a regular of the shooting of Jacob Blake. 

“While our passions continue to run high, we are proud that our players and clubs, league and union, are taking time to have the difficult conversations about these issues that affect the Black community and other communities of color in America. We are especially encouraged the these conversations are about how we can come together to make the necessary and long overdue changes in our country. 

“We will continue to not only use our collective platform to call out racism and injustice whenever and wherever it occurs in our country, but also fight together to eradicate it.” 

On Wednesday night, three days after the shooting took place, the Wisconsin Department of Justice Division of Criminal Investigation said the incident stemmed from a domestic dispute. According to the agency, police offers attempted to arrest the 29-year-old Blake, who was tased by the police before attempting to get into his car. That was when Kenosha officer Rusten Sheskey shot Jacobs in the back seven times. The agency stated that Blake admitted to having a knife in his possession, which was later recovered from the driver’s side floorboard of Blake’s vehicle. 

Blake’s injuries include a gunshot wound to the arm and damage to his kidney, liver and spinal cort, according to a family attorney. On Wednesday night, Justin Blake, Jacob Blake’s uncle, said that the are hopeful that he may have “a great recovery.” 

“(His recovery) is going to be slow, it’s going to be progressive, but he’s a young man and he’s resilient,” Justin Blake told CNN. “He has every chance, as anybody else, to turn things around.”

Several NFL players, including Lions veteran safety Duron Harmon, spoke out on the issue of social injustice on Thursday. 

“We’re just trying to figure out what we can do to not only bring light to the situation and how it’s wrong, just with police brutality,” Harmon said, via ESPN’s Dan Graziano, “but how can we, as a team, create change not only amongst ourselves but amongst the community so when things like this happen, we’re speaking on it and putting the pressure on officials to do the right thing and prosecute these officers to the fullest extent.”

Many NFL players, in response to George Floyd’s murder in May, had already planned to kneel during the playing of the national anthem when the 2020 regular season begins in September. Now, in the wake of Blake’s shooting, players are calling on their teams to join them in their fight against social injustice. 

“The challenge is now on these owners,” Eagles safety Rodney McLeod told reporters on Thursday. “We want them to speak out on a lot of these issues that exist, for their players. Just as much as we’re held accountable and we represent each organization a certain way when we leave this building, we expect them to now stand up and speak out on these issues to protect us as Black men. And I think that is the message that we as players should really enforce is that these owners come together and not only support us privately but step up and support us publicly as well.”

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here