The Detroit Lions canceled practice today and instead held a media session completely dedicated to discussing Sunday’s shooting of Jacob Blake, a Black man in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
Messages that read “We Won’t Be Silent” and “The World Can’t Go On” were put on a whiteboard for everyone to see.
Multiple players were outspoken about the need for the organization to take a stand with its players and allow them to have their voices heard.
Star quarterback Matthew Stafford said that football was an afterthought today, and allowing himself and his teammates to shed light on the situation was “the biggest thing.”
Head Coach Matt Patricia echoed the sentiments of his players.
“I didn’t really feel right about going into practice,” said Patricia. “Everyone had heavy hearts and everyone had thoughts and conversation … My mindset walking in today was just to make sure everybody was ok. “
Other players took to social media to make their thoughts known on the situation.
Lions safety Duron Harmon, who has reportedly been a leader in the team’s racial justice efforts, spoke eloquently about the all too common incident that transpired in Wisconsin.
“The Detroit Lions organization is going to take a stand that what happened to Jacob Blake is not okay,” said Harmon. “We are going to speak out on it until we create change.”
It is clear that many players and organizations are no longer going to let these displays of injustice go unaddressed. It’s also clear that simply taking a knee before the first game of the season isn’t enough.
“The strength, the power and the unity, that was unbelievable today,” said Patricia. “It’s not about football today.”