Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers discusses the police capturing of Jacob Blake in Kenosha.
GREEN BAY, Wis. — Even with coaching camp taking over maximum in their time and COVID-19 precautions setting apart them from family and friends even additional, Inexperienced Bay Packers gamers don’t are living inside of a bubble.
They force their automobiles, stroll their canines, select up their groceries and get their hair lower, all within the town during which they paintings.
They don’t seem to be insulated from the out of doors international and so when some other video of some other Black guy being shot by means of the police emerged Sunday, it activate most of the identical feelings that happened when George Floyd was once killed by means of a Minneapolis police officer Would possibly 25.
For a staff this is just about 70% Black, the video of Jacob Blake being shot again and again within the again by means of a Kenosha police officer reverberated in the course of the Packers’ locker room. Blake was once in critical situation Monday after present process surgical procedure. The incident ended in trainer Matt LaFleur assembly together with his management council for 45 mins after observe. The gang overtly mentioned the capturing and brainstormed techniques the group may just reply.
A march starts on the location the place Jacob Blake was once shot by means of Kenosha police. It starts in overall silence with fists raised. (Photograph: Eliottt Hughes / Milwaukee Magazine Sentinel)
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LaFleur opened his daily Zoom news conference apologizing for being late and then got emotional as he described the feelings being expressed in the meeting.
“You know, it’s amazing to me that this is still happening,” LaFleur said. “So, I wanted to get our guys’ perspective, and try to float around some ideas on how we can make a difference and use our platform, because things have to change.
“The social injustice, the police brutality, the antiquated laws, just got to bring awareness to everybody that Black lives matter. We can’t stand for this any longer.”
Packers players had released a video called “It’s Time For Change” after the Floyd killing. The video featured about a dozen players, both Black and white, expressing anger, hurt, disgust and frustration over police shootings of unarmed Black men. Early in the video, several players team up to say, “Enough is enough.”
Packers head coach Matt LaFleur talks with quarterback Aaron Rodgers during training camp Monday. (Photo: Mark Hoffman/Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)
LaFleur also spoke in the video and the Packers organization, led by President/CEO Mark Murphy, has supported the Black Lives Matter movement and donated $500,000 – half of it a personal match from Murphy — to support local social justice reform and racial equality.
LaFleur’s response to the shooting of Blake was forceful.
He said he didn’t know all the facts around the shooting, but he was texted a video of Blake being shot in the back that was circulating on social media and felt it important that he and his team open up about it.
“It keeps happening over, and over, and over again, and it blows my mind that we’re sitting here in 2020, and we can’t treat everybody the same,” LaFleur said. “I don’t know, I’m just kind of at a loss for words. I know I don’t know all the facts around the case, but it keeps happening over and over and over again.”
Tackle Billy Turner, who grew up in Minneapolis and has been one of the most outspoken Packers on social justice, used his Twitter account to express his feelings. Just last week, Turner had talked in depth with reporters about why he felt it necessary to speak up and why the Black Lives Matter movement means so much to him.
Turner tried to explain how the police shootings affect Black men.
“Imagine,” he wrote. “Living your entire life & everytime you see a police car/officer you fear for your Life & start praying because you are fearful that you’re going to lose your life at the hands of the people who are supposed to serve and protect you.”
At the end of the post, he wrote, “Black On Earth.”
Quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who is on the leadership council, happened to be scheduled for a Zoom interview to talk about training camp. He is on the video the Packers made and while not as outspoken as LaFleur or Turner, he said listening to others was as important as speaking his mind.
Rodgers didn’t reveal much about the meeting, other than that tight end Marcedes Lewis was the first to speak.
“I think there were a lot of personal things that were said in those settings,” Rodgers said. “I think like I said in the video and like we talked about in the video that we put out, there’s a systemic problem, and until the problem is fixed, this is going to be an all-too-common sighting in this country.
“It obviously hits home being not far from Green Bay. I’m not going to comment directly on the video until more facts come out, but obviously it’s something where as a non-police officer, I think a lot of us, (the) natural question is when is lethal force necessary.”
Kicker Mason Crosby, who appears on the “It’s Time to Change” video, was also scheduled to talk to reporters Monday. When asked about the leadership council meeting, he said the communication within the group was excellent.
Crosby said just having the opportunity to hear experiences from teammates was what made the meeting so important.
“I feel like the different personalities and individuals in that room, I mean, just intelligent guys that bring out some amazing points, some amazing topics, things that, you know, different perspectives that some of us haven’t experienced,” Crosby said. “And I’m thankful to coach LaFleur for bringing that group together as often as we do and just having us talk and having us connect in so many different ways.”
The Packers released a statement regarding the Kenosha shooting: “The Packers organization was shocked to see the video that showed police shooting Jacob Blake multiple times in the back. We are hopeful Jacob makes a full recovery, and our thoughts are with his family.
“While we understand a full investigation of this terrible incident will take place, we are deeply troubled at what again has become a painful example of the significant challenges we face with respect to police brutality, systemic racism and injustices against Black people. We continue to call for meaningful dialogue to affect the needed change we all desire.”
Rodgers stated he’s mindful his interactions with police haven’t been the similar as others within the locker room and he has attempted to hear what his teammates are announcing. He stated it’s time antiquated regulations that punish folks of colour and stay systematic racism alive want to be got rid of.
Rodgers made some degree of claiming he has gotten to understand present and previous cops who’re across the staff and doesn’t wish to paint them all of the identical. However he stated it’s time the unhealthy ones are got rid of and the great ones help in making that occur.
“It’s a nasty glance,” Rodgers stated. “I am hoping there will also be law enforcement officials who can discuss out as we’re talking out about these items and be as disgusted at this unlucky norm has turn out to be in our nation. However it begins with the device that’s in position. Till the device is modified, there’s now not going to be a variety of exchange.”
Rodgers stated the staff continues to be in discussions about how it’s going to give a boost to the social justice motion at the sideline prior to its season opener Sept. 13 in Minneapolis. However he stated he’s certain a remark shall be made.
LaFleur stated it’s going to be smartly concept out.
“I’m in point of fact happy with the ones guys which might be on that crew,” he stated. “You’ll be able to inform it method one thing to those guys as a result of that is actual existence. That is larger than soccer. It’s superior to understand that we have got some compassionate guys available in the market in this soccer staff that, No. 1, they care about each and every different but in addition they care about simply what’s happening in society.”