NFL Players Contemplate Sitting Out A Regular Season Game In Jacob Blake Protest

Ric Tapia via AP

National Football League players are formulating plans on how they will protest the shooting of Wisconsin man Jacob Blake. Some indicate they may follow in the wake of the NBA, WNBA, MLS and MLB teams and sit out a game.

Teams have already cancelled practices to discuss social issues. But with the league’s regular season schedule start just two weeks away and no exhibition games planned before that, the players are looking for a more dramatic statement.

The NFL has fewer games than most professional sports leagues, so missing even one could affect playoff chances for some teams.

New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley and receiver Sterling Shepard said earlier this week that the team has not ruled out potentially sitting out a regular-season game.

“I can’t really just go and speak on behalf of the whole league,” Barkley said. “But for us, that’s something that we’re going to talk about within our groups, within our team. What’s talked about in meetings, in players’ meetings, stays in players’ meetings.

“Going on with what the NBA did, I definitely commend them for doing that. The WNBA, the ladies, did it, too. I want to commend them for standing up, using their platform and using their voice. But for us to say, the Giants and the NFL, that’s the stuff that’s part of our discussions going on. We’ve been given an opportunity for our leadership group and to be able to talk to the team and try to figure out things we can do to try to help.”

Shepard’s comments echoed Barkley’s.

“As far as what we’re going to do and the steps we’re going to take next, that’s something that we’re in discussion about,” Shepard said. “It’s sad that we have to take the time away from football and prepare for a season that is coming up here pretty soon to talk about these things, another senseless shooting that’s happened. It’s sad that it has to be that way. But yeah, as far as what we’re going to do next, I’m going to talk to my teammates and the leadership group and the coaches and we’re going to come up with a plan.”

Quarterback Russell Wilson of the Seattle Seahawks also made similar threats.“I think for us as a team, for the Seahawks, we’re definitely discussing what do we do next,” Wilson said on 710 ESPN Seattle. “How do we make a change? How do we cause movement, and how do we make a difference? We’re in the midst of all that right now. We don’t have weeks, and we don’t have months. We don’t have years to change it.”

Jim Trotter of NFL media tweeted that others are having similar thoughts.

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