NFL teams halt practices over police shooting in Wisconsin
At least nine NFL teams halted practice sessions on Thursday in the wake of NBA protests against the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Wisconsin.
As NBA playoff games were postponed for a second straight day following the Milwaukee Bucks’ boycott on Wednesday, several NFL teams reacted on Thursday by taking a day off from training.
Wisconsin’s Green Bay Packers, the Chicago Bears, Denver Broncos, Los Angeles Chargers and New York Jets were among the teams to scrap practices with the new season just two weeks away.
NFL executive Troy Vincent said that athlete activism may even spill into the 2020 season, which kicks off on September 10.
“If we’re not expecting this to happen, then we’re not living in reality,” Vincent said in emotional remarks on an ESPN radio show in which he praised the stance of NBA players.
“It’s got to end,” Vincent said. “I’m so proud of these young boys. These young men and women. They did things I didn’t think about doing.
“I always walked for the community but during my time we thought we had a handle on it and obviously we didn’t.”
Vincent, who is black, said comments by Los Angeles Clippers coach Doc Rivers and LA Lakers star LeBron James resonated with him.
“I think about my three boys and I’m sitting up here every day having about contact tracing and how we’re going to play ball, and I got a 22-year-old and 20-year-old and a 15-year-old that I’m trying to prevent from being hunted,” he said.
The Bucks boycott on Wednesday followed the shooting of Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin on Sunday.
The 29-year-old was shot seven times in the back by a police officer as he attempted to get into a car containing his three children. (AFP)