Baltimore Ravens Refuse To Boycott Practice
One NFL team refused to boycott practice on Thursday after a day of unrest in the sports world.
The Baltimore Ravens decided that they would take the field and continue with their practice as planned.
Ravens players huddled up around coach John Harbaugh just before the start of practice. Harbaugh spoke to the team for a couple of minutes. The players then resumed stretching to begin practice. pic.twitter.com/wiNdzVGMEA
— Jamison Hensley (@jamisonhensley) August 27, 2020
On Wednesday, three Game 5s were cancelled in the NBA following a decision by the Milwaukee Bucks to not play in their postseason showdown against the Orlando Magic. The move prompted similar actions by all of the other teams currently in the NBA bubble.
In response, multiple MLB teams, MLS teams and WNBA teams also opted to cancel their Wednesday night games as well.
The NHL move forward with their outings as planned.
On Thursday, a collection of NFL players began talking among themselves regarding the best way to join in on what NBA players had started one day earlier.
Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll even acknowledged that players sitting out of NFL games was a possibility.
“Anything’s possible,” he said. “This is a protest season.”
The Washington Football Team announced that Thursday’s practice would be called off.
“It has been a very difficult day on many levels,” Washington’s Senior VP of Media Julie Donaldson tweeted out.
“After many conversations with Head Coach Ron Rivera and Jason, we have decided to postpone tomorrow’s practice at FedExField to engage in meaningful dialogue on social injustice.”
It has been a very difficult day on many levels. After many conversations with Head Coach Ron Rivera and Jason, we have decided to postpone tomorrow’s practice at FedExField to engage in meaningful dialogue on social injustice. pic.twitter.com/7rGYYxDurD
— Julie Donaldson (@juliedonaldson_) August 27, 2020
The Indianapolis Colts and New York Jets also cancelled practices that had been set for Thursday.
Baltimore opted to go another route. Rather than call off their scheduled training camp session, the Ravens decided to move forward with it and then hold a meeting afterward regarding the social justice movement that had developed in the sports world over the prior 24 hours.
NBA Players Launched A Movement
Although the Detroit Lions were actually the first team to publicly respond to the growing unrest regarding Jacob Blake’s shooting, people didn’t really take notice until the NBA got involved Wednesday.
After the Bucks opted to boycott their playoff game, a number of athletes spoke took to Twitter to share their support.
WE DEMAND CHANGE! SALUTE @Bucks ✊🏾🙏🏾🗣
— Donovan Mitchell (@spidadmitchell) August 26, 2020
WE DEMAND JUSTICE!!!
— Jamal Murray (@BeMore27) August 26, 2020
FUCK THIS MAN!!!! WE DEMAND CHANGE. SICK OF IT
— LeBron James (@KingJames) August 26, 2020
— DeMar DeRozan (@DeMar_DeRozan) August 26, 2020
— LaMarcus Aldridge (@aldridge_12) August 26, 2020
BIGGER THAN BASKETBALL!
— Damion Lee (@Dami0nLee) August 26, 2020
The NFL world reacts to the Bucks boycotting Game 5 of their series vs. the Magic. pic.twitter.com/m8AzkwyjHk
— NFL on ESPN (@ESPNNFL) August 26, 2020
NBA team owners also came out in support of the players’ decision.
“I was excited to see us play – and hopefully close out our series – tonight,” Los Angeles Lakers owner Jeanie Buss said. “But I stand behind our players, today and always. After more than 400 years of cruelty, racism and injustice, we all need to work together to say enough is enough.”
The DeVos family, which owns the Orlando Magic, echoed that sentiment.
“Today we stand united with the NBA Office, the National Basketball Players Association, the Milwaukee Bucks and the rest of the league condemning bigotry, racial injustice and the unwarranted use of violence by police against people of color,” their statement said.
Related: NBA Season On Verge Of Cancellation?
Baltimore Ravens, Other NFL Teams Have Big Decisions To Make
Thursday will be a big day for the sports world. The Ravens and every other NFL team will need to decide how they want to push their social justice message, if at all.
At the moment, because of how far away the NFL season is, a boycott seems unlikely. Theoretically, a deal should be able to be worked out between all parties involved before it gets to that point.
However, nothing is off the table.
This situation is very fluid and anything can change at any moment.