‘A Powerful Stand:’ Analysts Applaud Lions Practice Protest

Matt Patricia

Getty Matt Patricia looks on before facing the Giants.

The Detroit Lions made waves in the NFL early this past week when they sat out practice in response to the shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin. In the aftermath, the team has been given high marks for helping to start the conversation in the NFL.

Recently, the words and actions of the Lions were discussed on a Sports Illustrated podcast with Conor Orr and Jenny Vrentas. As they said, the team did a nice job to be timely and relevant with their demonstration. Additionally, they were first.

Orr said:

“I thought this was a good job by the Lions. We’ve talked about the value of being first and not forced to do something, and I think this was a good job by the Lions’ staff by reacting immediately to something, sensing that there was an issue that players were passionate about and giving them the platform to speak out about it.”

Vrentas agreed:

“I thought this was a powerful stand for the Lions. We’re so used to these discussions, football can’t be moved, don’t do anything that bothers football and keep your thoughts out of sports. Here was a day they decided to cancel practice, they recognized their players are human beings and that it would be difficult to practice on a day after seeing that video, especially as a Black man in America. Matt Patricia listened to his players, they adjusted and instead of forcing them to just go through the day as you would as if nothing happened, they also used the opportunity to issue a powerful statement.”

This week, the Lions and Matt Patricia have been praised for their nimble response which is great to see. It’s clear the team had the first passionate stance and were able to act on it right away.

Gil Brandt Lauds Lions Protest

NFL Hall of Famer and media member Gil Brandt had his own opinion to share. As he said, he was proud of Matt Patricia and the Lions for making the move to cancel practice and taking a stand because of the powerful signal it sent to the country at large.

Brandt was far from the first to credit the Lions for their response, but his reaction as a respected member of the NFL community is certainly carrying extra weight in this case. His response is to be commended, and certainly, the hope is his positive words do resonate with the world at large.

Dan Orlovsky Praises Lions Protest

In the aftermath of the team sitting out practice on Tuesday to protest the shooting of Jacob Blake, ESPN’s Dan Orlovsky explained that the team’s reaction was something which made him proud to be associated with the team.

The reason the move could be smart for the Lions? Not only from a social standpoint and being on the right side of history, but a team standpoint as well. As Orlovsky explained on ESPN, the team is taking on the look of a squad which is closer than ever and has each others’s backs.

He said:

“The reality is, I can’t or I don’t want to play hard with you or for you as a football player if I don’t know you care about me. I think this is a perfect example of those players caring about each other even though they may not experience it in the same way. You can’t say we will do something and the opportunity presents itself and you don’t. I played for the Lions for 7 years. I’ve never been more proud to be a part of the Lions organization than I am today, so kudos to everyone there.”

Orlovsky’s perspective is important given he was in an NFL locker room for a long time and has a good perspective on what makes teams tick. It will be fascinating to see what happens to the Lions this season and how this camaraderie impacts the season on the field.

Pretty widely, Detroit’s actions have been praised this week.

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