BOSTON (CBS) — The NBA started a major movement on Wednesday when the Milwaukee Bucks refused to take the court for their playoff game, out of protest for the latest case of police brutality against a Black man. It’s unclear how the current movement across professional sports will affect the National Football League, which is obviously not yet in season. But for now, players are speaking up.
That includes star Patriots cornerback and reigning Defensive Player of the Year Stephon Gilmore.
Prior to Thursday’s practice in Foxboro, Gilmore shared his thoughts on the current situation.
“I do not have the words to meet the depths of my frustration & sadness,” Gilmore tweeted .”But, I do know that the senseless killings & shootings of Black Americans by the police and vigilantes has to stop. These are human rights violations. My children deserve better. We all deserve better.”
I do not have the words to meet the depths of my frustration & sadness. But, I do know that the senseless killings & shootings of Black Americans by the police and vigilantes has to stop. These are human rights violations. My children deserve better. We all deserve better.
— The Gilly Lock (@BumpNrunGilm0re) August 27, 2020
Gilmore’s tweet referenced both the shooting of Jacob Blake — was shot seven times in the back by police in Kenosha, Wisconsin — as well as the killing of two protesters. A 17-year-old was arrested and charged for his alleged involvement in the latter shooting.
Shortly after sending out that tweet, Gilmore — who missed several practices in the past week in order to address a personal matter — emerged on the practice field for the Patriots.
On Wednesday, the McCourty twins tweeted support of the Bucks for their decision to protest their game.
Respect to the guys in the Bucks locker room. Taking a stand for what they believe in and for justice! https://t.co/mLKURgaqiO
— Devin&Jason McCourty (@McCourtyTwins) August 26, 2020
While the Bucks were the first team to cancel a game, the Detroit Lions brought attention to the movement by canceling practice on Tuesday. Key public speakers for that team were former Patriots Duron Harmon and Trey Flowers.
This is why Lions practice was canceled today. Entire Lions team addressing media outside the building to discuss the shooting of Jacob Blake.
“Football is not important today.” -Duron Harmon pic.twitter.com/eqDIrJp9Ex
— Tori Petry (@sportstori) August 25, 2020
Duron Harmon spoke first. Now Trey Flowers has the mic. pic.twitter.com/8uxu0a4Ejj
— Chris Burke (@ChrisBurkeNFL) August 25, 2020
On Wednesday, current Patriots quarterback Cam Newton was asked for his thoughts on the Jacob Blake shooting. Newton expressed his disgust and called for unity.
“Man, it’s just disheartening,” Newton said. “Needless to say, what’s going on in this country of ours at times is extremely disgusting. And until we find a fix, I think more than ever we have to unify — one as much as possible.”