Lions Cancel Practice in Solidarity With Jacob Blake

Matt Patricia

Getty Matt Patricia stands with the Lions during the anthem.

The Detroit Lions have endured an offseason unlike any other in NFL history, and they have made another powerful statement to remember.

Tuesday morning, the Lions were going to practice as usual, but things ended up being delayed. In the end, it was not business as usual. The team ended up canceling practice as a result of the Jacob Blake shooting in Kenosha, Wisconsin after a passionate team meeting on the subject.

Here’s the video of the team coming out together to speak, and revealing the message of “We can’t go on” and “We won’t be silent.” The sentiments were scrawled on a couple of dry erase boards that were wheeled out.

During the event, several players spoke including Duron Harmon, Trey Flowers and Taylor Decker. The consensus? The Lions want to win football games, but they also want to contribute to changing the world for the better.

Speaking passionately, Duron Harmon, Trey Flowers and Taylor Decker shared their vision and explained it’s on teams to have a unified approach and the Lions want to be the team moving the conversation forward in order to help make change in America.

Blake was shot multiple times by the police after an incident in Wisconsin over the weekend, and as of now it has been revealed by his father that he is paralyzed from the waist down currently. This incident will be the one the Lions try to galvanize around in order to send the message that the world must change.


Trey Flowers Has Powerful Message on Race

Flowers, in a lengthy Instagram video a few months ago, provided his thoughts on the state of things in America right now. Initially, he admits he had kept quiet. As he says, however, it’s time for everyone to listen and try to understand viewpoints that they might not have experiences with. In his mind, that’s the only way any type of positive change is going to happen.

In nearly a 10 minute emotional video, Flowers opens up and bears his soul regarding his feelings. It is important to watch all the way through.

Chris Burke of The Athletic also transcribed most of the video and posted it on Twitter.

Obviously, in a few months full of powerful statements, this might be the one that stands out for the Lions. Flowers makes a significant point regarding the discussion being like a circle where the message often gets lost or distorted. As humans, it’s on everyone to make sure the discussion keeps going in meaningful ways so that solutions are reached for the future. Flowers using his platform to do just that is significant.

Hearing Flowers speak, it’s not a surprise he is one of the team leaders the Lions chose to pursue heavily in free agency a few years back. The Detroit locker room is in good hands with his leadership.


Duron Harmon Credits Matt Patricia for Lions Leadership

Harmon thinks that Lions head coach Matt Patricia deserves a ton of credit for the team’s unified and positive response to the ongoing nationwide discussion. As he said in a recent interview with DetroitLions.com, Patricia should be praised for his handling of the situation and his allowing for the team to share their viewpoints openly and putting football on the back burner for the time being.

Harmon said:

“I believe we’ve been going a lot deeper than some other teams. Obviously I can’t speak for other teams, I’m just speaking off the experiences we’ve had,” he said. “We’ve had conversations each and every day last week. Matty P did a great job brining attention to the team last Friday. He’s given us an opportunity as black men to express our frustrations and for our white brothers in there, to give an opportunity to learn what we go through. Give them experiences that we went through because some people are oblivious, right wrong or indifferent. It’s been really powerful.”

According to Harmon, the reason the team has been able to have such discussions is Patricia setting the tone at the top and letting the players dictate the conversation and where it goes.

“(It starts) with the leadership of Matty P. We started phase 3 last week but with everything going on, how can you truly focus on football? I think he understood that and we were appreciative of that as a team,” Harmon said. “It’s been great conversations from top to bottom. We’ve been able to grow as a team. At the end of the day, this is a team sport and if you can truly commit to each other and love each other no matter your race, gender, anything, that’s how a team really creates a brotherhood and the wins will come off of that.”

Plenty of Lions have spoken out powerfully following a week of discussions and Patricia himself admitted the events have touched him deeply. That’s led to a situation where the team has come together in a very powerful way.

As Harmon said, what Patricia has done could only bring the team together tighter ahead of the 2020 season. Now that he allowed the team space to make this demonstration, that only might be more of the case

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