Updated: Sep 1, 2020
Team practice took a backseat with the Detroit Lions as they spoke up about the recent events of Jacob Blake.
Photo from Detroit Lions Media Page
Like many fans who have their favorite teams, the wonderful option to set alerts on your mobile device is the best way to go to get the latest on news, trades, scores, etc. This alert that came across my phone however made me ever so proud to be a Detroit Lions fan today.
We have seen it throughout the news, social media sites, and posts various sports teams and athletes standing up and speaking loudly about Black Lives Matter. From the horrible deaths of Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd, Breonna Taylor (who the cops have STILL not been arrested yet), their names, as well as many others, who's lives have been silenced, are being heard louder than ever. Jacob Blake is now added to the list as a victim of a senseless gun shooting by officers from the Kenosha Police in Wisconsin. Blake, a 29 year old unarmed Black man, was seen in a video that has gone viral, going to his vehicle and upon entering, he was shot 8 times in the back in the presence of those who saw him, his 3 sons who are 3, 5, & 8. His current status of his condition came from Jacob Blake Sr., who said that his son is now paralyzed from the waist down. Social media has been on high alert outrage since this video surfaced and many athletes in the sports world have expressed their anger against the officers responsible. But for the Detroit Lions, silence was not an option.
The Detroit Lions team, coaches, and staff, put practice and other obligations on hold to speak up about the shooting of Blake and expressing to the media who were in attendance what was important.
“Today, when we came in the building there were a lot of heavy hearts...” -Lions Safety Duron Harmon. He continued to say in an opening statement, "...So as we came in today, as a team, we looked at each other and we realized football is not important. We have a platform that we're able to use to not only raise awareness, but to create change, and we decided today that we was going forward and we was going to create change."
As I watched to live content come in from their conference, I didn't see a team that was forced to be there to talk again about another SENSELESS shooting by police, I saw a team that was unified, that had enough, that wanted to use their platform to speak up, and saw a team that saw each other as brothers, no matter the race, age, background, they had each others' back. Taylor Decker, an offensive tackle, who is white, wanted to listen and show his support for his teammates who are Black and of color. He expressed at the podium, the love he has for his team and to hear the pain and fear that they go through has made him more aware of people of color have gone through. Some of the players have also taken to social media and spoke with the media virtually expressed their support for the Blake family said that the conversation will not stop here.
Twitter account of Danny Shelton
My Heard Take:
I. AM. PROUD. OF. THIS. TEAM. I'm proud as a fan, proud as a sports fan, proud as a person who is of color, and proud to be a Black Woman, writing my appreciation for the team that I love. These men have used their platform today to show solidarity for and issue that is and has been going on for TOO LONG! How long will this violence, these shootings continue? I appreciate that those who are not Black or of color listening and speaking of support for this issue. When players and teams have a platform this big and use it for this purpose to make a difference, that gains my full and ultimate respect.