The Tampa Bay Buccaneers proceeded with training camp on a day where several NFL teams decided not to practice in the aftermath of the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
Bucs coach Bruce Arians told reporters after practice that the team had a meeting before taking the field. When speaking with his players, Arians challenged them to commit to action beyond just engaging in protests if they want to help address societal issues.
“Your responsibility is to just take action. I don’t know that protest is an action,” Arians said.
Arians said players should identify a cause they want to support, and show that support either financially or through other means.
“I think each guy has a personal thing. I would beg them to take action, find a cause and either support it financially or do something to change the situation,” Arians said. “Protesting doesn’t do crap in my opinion. I’ve been seeing it since 1968.”
Eight NFL teams decided not to practice on Thursday — the Indianapolis Colts, New York Jets, Arizona Cardinals, Tennessee Titans, Green Bay Packers, Chicago Bears, Denver Broncos and Los Angeles Chargers. The Washington Football Team called off a scrimmage it had scheduled for Thursday. The Detroit Lions canceled their practice on Tuesday to instead devote their energy toward discussing the Blake shooting.
“We can’t be silent,” Lions defensive lineman Trey Flowers said. “We can’t stay silent. It can’t be us going through our regular day. So today we stand unified.”
The wave of attention being brought to racial injustice intensified Wednesday when the Milwaukee Bucks decided not to play Game 5 of their first-round NBA playoff series against the Orlando Magic. In the hours after, every NBA playoff game on the schedule was called off and the league’s players held a meeting to discuss whether to continue with the postseason.
Thursday morning, the players decided that the games will continue, but not for a few more days as the “next steps” for action are discussed among the NBA players, players association, owners and league office. Teams in the WNBA and MLB have also opted not to play.
Blake, a 29-year-old Black man, was shot in the back multiple times by police on Sunday as he tried to get into his vehicle. The incident was captured on video. An attorney for the Blake family said three of his children were in the car at the time of the shooting.
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