GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) – The Green Bay Packers have officially canceled Thursday morning’s practice.
This comes on the heels of the Milwaukee Brewers and the Milwaukee Bucks boycotting their games on Wednesday in light of the shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha.
“We have to, we’re going to play football, but to your point, this stuff that’s going on is much greater than the game of football. I think our guys want to play, but at the same time they want to focus some of their efforts on making society a better place. I mean, this is a humanity issue at the end of the day,” said head coach Matt Lafleur.
According to a report by Mike Garafaolo of the NFL Network, players met as a team this morning and the leadership council met with LaFleur. The team is set to show the documentary “13th” by Ava DuVernay, and players are encouraged to watch.
“There’s a lot of raw emotion that comes ou in these meetings with players that come from different backgrounds, that come from different experiences. They really pour their heart of there, and you really feel for these guys. You know, just want to continue to listen and see what we can do to make a positive impact in this society,” said LaFleur.
After practice was first postponed, and eventually canceled, players started weighing in on social media with their thoughts about social justice issues.
Packers rookie linebacker Tipa Galeai provided some insight into the meetings at Lambeau Field on Thursday via Twitter as well.
On Wednesday, the Bucks boycotted game five against the Orlando Magic in response to the shooting of Blake.
The NBA then announced all games have been postponed in the wake of the Bucks’ decision not to play. All three games between the Bucks-Magic, Lakers-Trail Blazers, and Thunder-Rockets will be rescheduled.
Later on Wednesday night the Bucks as a team came out of the locker room and delivered a statement to the media about their decision to boycott the game.
“The past four months have shed a light on the ongoing racial injustices facing our African American communities. Citizens around the country have used their voices and platforms to speak out against these wrongdoings.
“Over the last few days in our home state of Wisconsin, we’ve seen the horrendous video of Jacob Blake being shot in the back seven times by a police officer in Kenosha, and the additional shooting of protestors. Despite the overwhelming plea for change, there has been no action, so our focus today cannot be on basketball.
“When we take the court and represent Milwaukee and Wisconsin, we are expected to play at a high level, give maximum effort and hold each other accountable. We hold ourselves to that standard, and in this moment, we are demanding the same from our lawmakers and law enforcement.
“We are calling for justice for Jacob Blake and demand the officers be held accountable. For this to occur, it is imperative for the Wisconsin State Legislature to reconvene after months of inaction and take up meaningful measures to address issues of police accountability, brutality and criminal justice reform. We encourage all citizens to educate themselves, take peaceful and responsible action, and remember to vote on Nov. 3.”
The Brewers followed the Bucks and did not play against the Cincinnati Reds.
The team released a statement from both teams that read:
“The players from the Brewers and Reds have decided to not play tonight’s baseball game. With our community and our nation in such pain, we wanted to draw as much attention to the issues that really matter, especially racial injustice and systemic oppression.”
Earlier this week, the Detroit Lions skipped practice after discussing the shooting of Blake.
Authorities named the officer who allegedly shot Blake in Kenosha on Sunday. Officer Rusten Sheskey, a seven-year veteran with the Kenosha Police Department, shot Blake, 29, while holding onto his shirt after officers first unsuccessfully used a taser and as Blake leaned into his vehicle during.
State agents later recovered a knife from the driver’s side floorboard of the vehicle, the release said. A search of the vehicle located no additional weapons. No charges have been announced and the state Department of Investigation continues to investigate.
A white, 17-year-old police admirer was arrested Wednesday after two people were shot to death during a third straight night of protests in Kenosha over the police shooting of a Black man, Jacob Blake.
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