Washington Football Team Follows NBA, MLB Lead

Washington

getty Steven Sims #15 of the Washington Football Team huddles with teammates.

The MLB and NBA canceled their games on Wednesday to protest police brutality.

The NFL is not far behind. A practice scrimmage at FedEx Field for Washington has been canceled for Thursday. Head coach Ron Rivera and The Washington Football team will take a reflection day.

Here’s the statement the team released:

“Jason Wright and I worked this afternoon to develop a response that has the right balance between the business of football and being truly thoughtful about the social injustice we witnessed with this latest incident in Wisconsin,” coach Ron Rivera said in a statement. “We went to Mr. Snyder with our plan for tomorrow and we were given his complete support and approval.

“Friday we can return to football. But tomorrow will be about reflection instead. In place of our practice at FedEx Field, the players, coaches and football staff will meet as a football family and we will continue our open dialogue on the issues of racism and social injustice in our country. Mr. Snyder and Jason will join us in our discussion with the team tomorrow, just as Mr. Snyder and I will support Jason in similar discussions we are planning for members of the business and stadium side of the organization. We are all in this together. And as a team we will work to figure out ways that we can make a positive impact on our communities.”

The Reasoning Behind the Boycott

These athletes’ decision to boycott the playoff games comes after protests erupted around the country in light of Sunday’s police shooting of Blake, an unarmed Black man, who was shot by Wisconsin officers shot in front of his three children.

Blake, 29, survived and is in stable condition despite taking seven bullets to the back, but is now paralyzed from the waist down.

The investigation is on-going.

Rivera Diagnosed With Cancer

Rivera, 58, was diagnosed with cancer two weeks ago but has no plans to take a break from working.

“I’m planning to go on coaching,” Rivera told ESPN’s Adam Schefter. “Doctors encouraged me to do it, too. They said, ‘If you feel strongly, do it. Don’t slow down, do your physical activities.’ But everyone keeps telling me by week three or four, you’ll start feeling it.”

Rivera has lymph node cancer and the team later confirmed that he has squamous cell cancer of the neck. On a lighter note, Rivera says the cancer is in the early stages and is considered “very treatable and curable”.

A Lot of Changes Coming to D.C.

The 2020 NFL season has already been a rollercoaster for every team, but the Washington Football Team has been in the spotlight.

As if a pandemic and cancer weren’t enough, Rivera has already had to deal with a lot. From a name change and stadium makeover to the sexual harassment allegations, Rivera is handling it very professionally.

But, Rivera has been present and even a part of a historic hire. The Washington Football team became the first NFL team to hire a Black man, Jason Wright, as the franchise’s president on Monday.

Washington is really making a “new” name for itself.

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