Washington Football Team Cancels Practice to Protest Shooting of Jacob Blake

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistAugust 27, 2020

Washington head coach Ron Rivera arrives for practice wearing a face mask, at the team's NFL football training facility, Thursday, Aug. 20, 2020, in Ashburn, Va. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
Alex Brandon/Associated Press

The Washington Football Team elected to cancel Thursday's practice in the wake of the police shooting of Jacob Blake. 

Senior vice president of media and content Julie Donaldson shared a statement from head coach Ron Rivera announcing as much which said owner Dan Snyder gave his "complete support and approval": 

Julie Donaldson @juliedonaldson_

It has been a very difficult day on many levels. After many conversations with Head Coach Ron Rivera and Jason, we have decided to postpone tomorrow’s practice at FedExField to engage in meaningful dialogue on social injustice. https://t.co/7rGYYxDurD

"Friday we can return to football," the statement said. "But tomorrow will be about reflection instead. In our place of practice at FedEx Field, the players, coaches and football staff will meet as a football family and we will continue our open dialogue of the issues of racism and social injustice in our country."

Washington's decision comes after the Detroit Lions canceled Tuesday's practice because of the police shooting of Blake.

Lions 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

ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported the Milwaukee Bucks elected to sit out Wednesday's playoff game against the Orlando Magic in protest. The NBA then announced Wednesday's three playoff games were postponed.

WNBA players also decided not to play, per ESPN's Holly Rowe, and the league announced Wednesday's three games were postponed.

Elsewhere, Major League Baseball games between the Milwaukee Brewers and Cincinnati Reds, Seattle Mariners and San Diego Padres, and Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants were postponed after players decided not to play, while several individual players on other teams also elected to sit out.

Police shot Blake in the back multiple times while he was near a car that family attorney Benjamin Crump said was carrying Blake's three sons. Blake's father, Jacob Sr., said his son is suffering from paralysis from the waist down.

Donaldson mentioned "it has been a very difficult day on many levels" for the Washington Football Team.

Will Hobson, Beth Reinhard, Liz Clarke and Dalton Bennett of the Washington Post detailed allegations of a toxic work environment within the organization, writing Snyder is allegedly "[presiding] over an organization in which women say they have been marginalized, discriminated against and exploited."

Former cheerleader Tiffany Bacon Scourby detailed a charity event in 2004 in which former cheerleader director Donald Wells said "she was more or less propositioned" to someone else by Snyder.

What's more, the report detailed allegations that Larry Michael, the former senior vice president of content and radio broadcast, told staff to create a video that included "lewd outtakes" of a cheerleader calendar shoot was to be made for Snyder.