Lions Cancel Practice in Response to Police Shooting of Jacob Blake

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistAugust 25, 2020

The Gatorade logo and drinks are seen on the Detroit Lions bench during halftime of an NFL football game against the Philadelphia Eagles at Ford Field in Detroit, Sunday, Sept. 19, 2010. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)
Carlos Osorio/Associated Press

The Detroit Lions canceled Tuesday's practice in response to the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin, earlier this week. 

Safety Duron Harmon told reporters, "Football is not important today."

Tori Petry @sportstori

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 https://t.co/eqDIrJp9Ex

Tim Twentyman @ttwentyman

“We Won’t Be Silent!!” message from Lions players https://t.co/8jgCQBwgQh

Matthew Stafford also spoke to the media about the team's decision: "Been a lot of days in my life I've been proud to be a Detroit Lion ... but probably never more of an offseason or of a day than today that I've been proud to be a part of this team."

Per Darin Gantt of Pro Football Talk, the Lions originally rescheduled their practice for 1:15 p.m. before deciding to cancel it for the day.

Wisconsin Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes told reporters Monday that Blake was shot seven times in the back by two members of the Kenosha Police Department. 

"Jacob Blake was shot in the back seven times in front of his children," Barnes said. "And let me be clear, this was not an accident. This was not bad police work. This felt like some sort of vendetta being taking out on a member of our community."

Barnes noted Blake was attempting to "deescalate a situation" in his neighborhood when police officers showed up.

The two officers involved have been placed on administrative leave while the Wisconsin Justice Department's division of criminal investigation looks into the shooting.

Blake's father told Clare Proctor of the Chicago Sun-Times that his son is paralyzed from the waist down, and doctors have yet to determine if the condition is permanent.