ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (WIVB) – Some things are bigger than sports. And sports have the ability to spark important, much needed conversations that hopefully lead to change in this country.
Wednesday night we saw that action as NBA teams decided not to play in the wake of Jacob Blake, a black man, was shot in the back seven times by police officers in Kenosha, Wisconsin. The NBA decided not play any games last night as well as the WNBA and some MLB teams followed their lead.
In the NFL, some teams canceled their practices set for Thursday, others had team meetings to discuss these issues with each other. The Detroit Lions were the first to cancel their practice on Tuesday and demonstrated by protesting outside of their practice facility.
Talking with Bills head coach Sean McDermott Thursday morning, he said they did have conversations about canceling their practice but ultimately decided to go on with the scrimmage at Bills Stadium as planned. But they did have a team meeting where players could talk about the racial and social injustice in our country today.
After the scrimmage, Bills defensive end Jerry Hughes spoke to the media on a zoom call and spent majority of it taking questions about that meeting, his feelings on what the Bills can do to speak out on these issues, etc.
Usually, I’ll write most of the quotes from players in these articles but I think it’s more powerful if you hear it right from Hughes. So I’ve embedded all of his answers about social injustice from his zoom call today:
“It’s a horrible, disgusting, tragic incident that took place. I’m still trying to understand why the people who are sworn to protect and serve Americans are still shooting Americans…”
“Voice equality, voice that yes we do say Black Lives Matter but we say it in the sense of all American lives matter so we’re not putting one in front of the other…”
“Sometimes ignorance needs to be educated…”
“I think that change is certainly coming, it might be a little bit delayed but before my kids turn 30 I think that we’ll have a new and better America…”
“To see the guys white, black, Hispanic, it didn’t matter everyone got up and voiced their opinion, said how they felt about what’s taken place…”