Less than 24 hours after the Milwaukee Bucks stunned the sports world by NBA to take another stand against social injustice by postponing playoff games in the wake of the Jacob Blake shooting, several NFL franchises are following suit by cancelling practices Thursday.and forcing the
The Washington Football Team on Wednesday night were the first team to cancel practice for Thursday, a stadium practice at FedEx Field, and other teams followed suit. The Indianapolis Colts, Green Bay Packers, Chicago Bears, Arizona Cardinals, and New York Jets are the other teams to cancel practice, while the Philadelphia Eagles, Dallas Cowboys, and Jacksonville Jaguars will practice. More teams will be making a decision as the day goes on.
Blake was fired upon seven times Sunday night by a Kenosha, Wisconsin police officer as he was attempting to get into his car. Officers attempted to arrest Blake after a female caller reported that her boyfriend was present and was not supposed to be on the premises, according to investigators from the Wisconsin Department of Justice Division of Criminal Investigation. When officers arrived, they attempted to arrest Blake and used a taser to try to stop him. Blake then walked around his vehicle, “opened the driver’s side door, and leaned forward,” per the agency.
An officer grabbed Blake’s shirt and fired seven times into his back, leaving Blake paralyzed from the waist down. The officer, Rusten Sheskey, was placed on administrative leave.
“Mr. Snyder and (Washington team president) Jason (Wright) will join us in our discussion with the team tomorrow, just as Mr. Snyder and I will support Jason in similar discussions we are planning for members of the business and stadium side of the organization,” Washington head coach Ron Rivera said in a press release. “We are all in this together. And as a team we will work to figure out ways that we can make a positive impact in our communities.”
The Colts tweeted the “team will use the day to discuss and work toward making a lasting social impact and inspiring change in our communities.” Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy, whose family lives in Wisconsin, said the Cowboys are having ongoing conversations and will continue to do so.
“I have to be honest, it’s hard to sit here and to think I have to talk about football today, especially with everything that’s going on in our country,” McCarthy said in his press conference Thursday. “Obviously difficult times where things have to change. I find it disturbing.”
The Eagles have an off day Friday, which they will have a scheduled social justice committee meeting. The Detroit Lions canceled practice Tuesday and stood outside the facility to protest the Blake incident, becoming the first NFL team to take a stand.