It Really Is A New NFL; Lions Cancel Practice To Protest Shooting
The Detroit Lions cancelled their practice session on Tuesday to protest the shooting of Jacob Blake by police in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
(Detroit Lions via Twitter)
ESPN says three Lions players: safety Duron Harmon, defensive end Trey Flowers and offensive tackle Taylor Decker acted as spokespersons for their teammates, explaining that this morning, as a group they felt it was more important to make a statement that what is happening is not ok.
"As a team, we looked each other in the eyes and realized that football isn't important today. We have a platform that we are able to use not just to raise awareness but to create change." - Duron Harmon in an ESPN story.
Decker related conversations teammates had this morning, where black expressed the fears they deal with every day. Decker told a story of driving in Michigan with Arizona plates, and having a burnt out headlight, and nothing thinking much of it, but her got emotional relating the story of a teammate whose mother called him every night to check if he was safe.
Lions coach Matt Patricia told a press conference today that he wanted to address the players' feeling in a proper way, and today, football would take a back seat to the players' feelings about events of this past weekend and past year. The Lions' Tracy Walker is a cousin of Ahmaud Arbery.
The protest today is an almost stunning sign of how much things have changed in the league from just several years ago, when any kind of variance from the corporate line of the NFL was strongly frowned upon, and more.
This protest coupled with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell's comments this past week in a podcast with former player and ESPN commentator Emmanuel Acho that, "The first thing I’d say is I wish we had listened earlier, Kaep (Colin Kaepernick), to what you were kneeling about and what you were trying to bring attention to,” indicate such change may be happening.