Ravens Cancel Practice for Team Unifying Session on Social Justice Reform

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistAugust 28, 2020

Baltimore Ravens logo during the preseason NFL football game in Baltimore, Thursday, Aug. 13, 2009, between the Baltimore Ravens and the Washington Redskins. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
Nick Wass/Associated Press

The Baltimore Ravens announced they've canceled Friday's practice so they can "perform a team unifying session surrounding social justice reform."

Their decision comes after a statement Thursday detailing a six-point plan of action after the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin, on Sunday:

Baltimore Ravens @Ravens

Statement from the Baltimore Ravens: https://t.co/Q8kOzQ8qAZ

The Ravens committed $1 million to social justice causes in June amid nationwide protests after George Floyd was killed while in Minneapolis Police custody.

Team owner Steve Bisciotti released a statement Aug. 10 after 28 programs were selected to receive funds:

"We have a powerful platform—and a responsibility—to help eliminate injustices that are prevalent in our communities. For far too long, people of color have been underserved by a system that should protect, rather than harm. Our entire organization, including players past and present, is fully committed to creating social justice reform. We will continue to seek out opportunities that support, encourage and defend those who are most in need."

Baltimore Ravens @Ravens

"The fight against racism isn't a political thing. It should be intolerable in the workplace, in society." @megatronnie https://t.co/SJwPn7t0Gs

Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson, the reigning NFL MVP, stressed the importance of bringing everybody together to fight for equality as part of the team's roundtable discussion in June.

"I feel like we all need to come together and learn from one another because I feel the world would be more peaceful," Jackson said. "You never know what you can learn from one another."

Baltimore Ravens @Ravens

Ravens united. Black Lives Matter. https://t.co/3KAl3dFSrQ

Meanwhile, NFL executive vice president of football operations Troy Vincent said Thursday on ESPN Radio the league is aware strikes similar to the NBA are possible when the league kicks off its regular season Sept. 10.

"If we're not expecting this is going to happen, then we're not living in reality," Vincent said.

Jim Trotter @JimTrotter_NFL

NFL owners should be careful. A few prominent Black players are telling me they want to sit out a game to make their feelings felt & force change/action. They are tired, frustrated and emotional. It’s only a few at this point, but sparks become flames & flames become infernos.

New York Jets running back Le'Veon Bell was among the players to speak out:

Le'Veon Bell @LeVeonBell

we’ve been protecting the shield...it’s time for the shield to protect us

The Ravens' first game is scheduled for Sept. 13 when they host the Cleveland Browns at M&T Bank Stadium.