Detroit Lions cancel practice to stand strong and united during protest

(Photo by Matthew Hatcher/Getty Images)
(Photo by Matthew Hatcher/Getty Images) /

The Detroit Lions collectively opted-out of team practice Tuesday using their platform, hoping to drive home a much more meaningful message.

‘Football is not important today.’  That became one of the centerstage slogans the Detroit Lions tried to get across to the World yesterday after deciding to forgo their padded practice.  This on the heels of yet another unarmed black man being shot by white law enforcement, this time in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

The victim, Jacob Blake, had been seen trying to break up a dispute between two others when officers arrived.  Blake had been seen trying to get into his vehicle as a white officer pulls on the back of his shirt before unloading an outrageous seven gunshots into his back. This all in front of Blake’s three young children waiting for their father in the back seat of the vehicle.

According to Blake’s father, Jacob miraculously remains alive in serious condition but paralyzed from the waist down.

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It leaves us with yet another sickening scene that’s come far too often in America, another white cop shooting an unarmed black man.  While the Detroit Lions are regularly mocked for their inability to piece together a winning football team, Tuesday became the proudest day to be a Detroit Lions fan.  Instead of being the laughing stock of the league, the Lions became leaders, putting the rest of professional sports on notice.

The team walked out of practice and addressed the media, but before, the team spent hours sharing various opinions, backgrounds, and encounters with one another.

Starting safety Duron Harmon wanted to get a message across in an article published by MLive;

"“I want you to document the Detroit Lions will be for change, we won’t be silent,” Harmon said. “We will play football and we will do everything we can to win football games, but we will do everything we can to create change as well.”"

Starting defensive end, Trey Flowers also addressed the media;

"“We are all brothers, the human race,” Flowers said. “We are all one, and once we realize that and overcome just the difference of skin color, the difference of culture, then we’ll start to love one another, treat others as they are us.”"

Detroit Lions head coach Matt Patricia also stated “I didn’t really feel right about going into practice and running some football drill without talking to my team,”

It was that talk that sparked a walk-out, and it will only help unify the Detroit Lions as a team and a brotherhood.  It seems ages ago now when Colin Kaepernick first took a knee, and if you think it was a way to protest the flag, you are part of the problem.  It’s always been about trying to spark change, trying to end these awful George Floyd, Breonna Taylor-like murders.

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The Lions rolled out a whiteboard Tuesday with the phrase “The world can’t go on,” they wrote on one side and “We won’t be silent,” on the other.  I am extremely proud of the Detroit Lions.  Let’s hope this finally sparks change, and hopefully Tuesday the Detroit Lions became leaders to other on-looking organizations.