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Bengals' Joe Burrow Asks How Anyone Can Dismiss Black People's Pain as Nothing

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistAugust 27, 2020

Cincinnati Bengals' Joe Burrow grips a ball while he stands on the field prior to an NFL football camp practice in Cincinnati, Monday, Aug. 17, 2020. (AP Photo/Aaron Doster)
Aaron Doster/Associated Press

Cincinnati Bengals rookie Joe Burrow empathizes with Black people in the wake of the shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

Many Americans have protested against police brutality and systemic racism in recent months following the killings of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd by police officers. The shooting of Blake has deepened their anguish, something to which Burrow alluded:

Joey Burrow @JoeyB

How can you hear the pain Black people are going through and dismiss it as nothing. How can you hear the pain and respond with anything other than “I stand with you.”

Thursday's comments echoed what Burrow said in May when the protests began:

Joey Burrow @JoeyB

The black community needs our help. They have been unheard for far too long. Open your ears, listen, and speak. This isn’t politics. This is human rights.

Police in Kenosha responded to an alleged domestic disturbance Sunday. Blake was at the scene because he was breaking up a fight between two women, according to his family's attorney, Ben Crump.

A video showed two officers following Blake with their guns drawn as he was walking toward the driver's door of a gray SUV. As he opened the door, one officer grabbed Blake's tank top, and the police opened fire. Crump said Blake's three children were inside the car during the shooting.

Blake is paralyzed from the waist down as a result of the shooting after the bullets severed his spinal cord and fractured his vertebrae.

The Detroit Lions canceled practice Tuesday to demand change:

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Detroit Lions @Lions

We won't be silent https://t.co/u9FMCYcKez

The Milwaukee Bucks went a step further, refusing to take the court Wednesday for their NBA playoff game against the Orlando Magic. The NBA subsequently postponed all three postseason games scheduled for Wednesday.

The WNBA postponed its games as well after teams indicated they wouldn't play.

Washington Mystics @WashMystics

"We're not just basketball players. We're so much more than that." Ariel Atkins with a powerful statement on the unified decision to not play tonight. #BlackLivesMatter https://t.co/Eg96KMqsFh

The demonstration has spread to MLS and MLB as well, as both leagues rescheduled games because of player protests.

The NFL regular season opens Sept. 10.

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