The Detroit Lions canceled practice on Tuesday to protest the police shooting of Jacob Blake, proclaiming, “We can’t be silent.”
The NFL squad made the announcement outside the team’s training facility in Allen Park, Michigan, gathering as a team and denouncing the Sunday shooting that left the 29-year-old victim partially paralyzed, ESPN reported.
“As a team, we looked each other in the eyes and realized that football isn’t important today,” said Lions safety Duron Harmon, who is black. “We have a platform that we are able to use not just to raise awareness but to create change.”
“We had some really real conversations as a team,” said offensive tackle Taylor Decker, who is white. “I’m fortunate to be in a locker room with white, black, brown, different socioeconomic backgrounds, guys from all over the country and they are guys that I care about.
“Just to hear the pain and fear from people that I care about, people that I love, are going through,” Decker continued. “I know it’s not my reality, but they shouldn’t have to go through that. They shouldn’t have to have that fear.”
NBA players are weighing a boycott of games over Blake’s shooting, Yahoo Sports reported Tuesday.
Lakers star LeBron James has also spoken out against the shooting, calling it “f—ed up” that black Americans must live in fear of police.
Blake was shot at least seven times by a white police officer in Kenosha, Wisconsin, on Sunday. Witnesses and relatives said Blake’s three children were in his SUV when he opened the door to the vehicle and was shot in the back.
He was rushed to a local hospital and underwent surgery — but his father told reporters Tuesday that he is paralyzed from the waist down, and doctors have not determined if the injuries are permanent.