Packers Players Speak Out after Jacob Blake Shooting
Both the players and team have released statements supporting change after the most recent police shooting
On Sunday evening Jacob Blake was on an apartment lined street in Kenosha, Wisconsin. He was breaking up a fight between two women when police arrived. As Blake walked away from the scene, police began following him and as he attempted to enter his vehicle, police officers opened fire striking him seven times. Blake's three young children witnessed the attack. Thankfully, he survived the shooting, but Blake is currently paralyzed and still in the intensive care unit. Video of the shooting can be seen below.
Wow. This Black man was shot several times in the back by @KenoshaPolice today. He was getting into his car after apparently breaking up a fight between two women. He’s in critical condition now. We demand JUSTICE! #BlackLivesMatter pic.twitter.com/I1reDEp4nw
— Ben Crump (@AttorneyCrump) August 24, 2020
Following the most recent police-involved shooting of an unarmed black man, Green Bay Packers players and the team have spoken. The incident took place only 155 miles from Green Bay and seems to have struck a nerve with the team.
On Monday, after a video of the shooting spread across social media, Packers players on the Packer’s Players Leadership Council sat down with coach Matt LeFleur to discuss what actions the team could take. According to Quarterback Aaron Rodgers, Tight End Marcedes Lewis helped lead the discussion. Others on the committee included kicker Mason Crosby, linebacker Za'Darius Smith, along with several other veterans.
Following the meeting, the Packers released the following statement saying:
"The 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."
LeFleur and Rodgers also spoke to the media after the meeting.
"When you watch something like that, it's just so disgusting," LeFleur said. "It's disturbing. I watched it once, and I just don't even know what to think. I know I don't know all the facts around the case, but it's just a series. 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. I don't know, I'm just kind of at a loss for words."
"I think there's 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 [for] a lot of us [the] natural question is, when is lethal force necessary? Again, I think that goes to a systematic problem that needs to be addressed at some point. There's antiquated laws that are prejudicial against people of color in this state. I think the governor and the folks at the Capitol need to take a hard look at some of those systems that are in place."
Blake's sister spoke out after the shooting as well, shedding tears for not only Blake but for all of the members of her "family" who were also victims of police shootings. Watch the powerful video below.
Jacob Blake’s sister *did* that. pic.twitter.com/TpEEWOI073
— Arlan (@ArlanWasHere) August 26, 2020