Detroit Lions Cancelled Practice to Protest Jacob Blake’s Shooting
“We can’t be silent anymore — nobody can be silent. If you’re being silent, you’re okay with what’s happening,” said Lions safety Duron Harmon.
In response to the horrific shooting of Jacob Blake, the Detroit Lions canceled Tuesday’s practice (August 25). United, the players stood before the training facilities of the team, adjacent to a sign reading: “THE WORLD CAN’T GO ON.”
“While some people think that we’re just football players, this league 67 percent — two-thirds of its players — are African-American,” said Duron Harmon, Lions safety, according to FOX 2 Detroit. “Jacob Blake could have been anybody’s brother, cousin, uncle, friend. Could have been them. And it wasn’t OK.”
Later, Harmon spoke about the incident during a virtual media session. “This organization is going to make sure we speak out on it,” he said. “We can’t be silent anymore — nobody can be silent. If you’re being silent, you’re okay with what’s happening.”
Blake, is a 29-year-old Black man who was shot several times on Sunday (August 23), by police officers in Kenosha, Wisconsin. A clip of the incident became viral on social media as people saw Blake being shot while his children witnessed the tragedy from inside a vehicle.
As the investigation goes on, the police officers who participated in the shooting were placed on administrative leave. It was revealed by Blake’s father on Tuesday, that his son became paralyzed from the waist down after the shooting. Doctors are unsure if his paralysis is permanent.
Matthew Stafford, Lions quarterback, revealed that their team meeting on Tuesday did not include soccer as a topic of discussion. He also divulged that coach Matt Patricia provided a platform for players to discuss the incident.
“Football is the last thing on our mind at the moment, to be honest with you,” Stafford said, according to The Detroit News. “The biggest thing for us was, how do we get our voices heard? We have a lot of guys in this locker room with a lot to say and a lot of guys that are extremely smart and talented speakers and understand so much of what’s going on.”
He added, “It’s the first time that we’ve all been in the same room to talk about it and had the ability to see each other’s faces … and just feel that. Obviously, it’s something that continues to happen. And the level of frustration and anger is palpable.”