LOUDOUN COUNTY, Va. - After canceling their Thursday practice, the Washington Football Team instead held a team discussion about social injustice.
Washington was supposed to practice at FedEx Field, which would have marked the first time the team stepped foot in the stadium since Ron Rivera was named head coach.
“I thought today went very well,” Rivera said. “If it is part of their conversation daily, then great because it means that they’re still thinking about it and there’s still some chance for some action. That’s the thing a lot of our guys did express, that they didn’t want this to just go away. They want to keep it alive, keep it fresh.
“There’s a regular quote that we used: ‘When the water’s boiling, don’t turn off the heat.’”
Today we canceled football activity for our players and staff to have dialogue on Social Injustice and reflect on the shooting of Jacob Blake. pic.twitter.com/MSRBAJekgL— Washington Football Team (@WashingtonNFL) August 27, 2020
Thursday's dialogue comes just days after the shooting of Jacob Blake, a 29-year-old Black man who was shot from behind seven times by a police officer in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
When asked about the tone of the discussion, Rivera said he felt there was some anger, disappointment and concern for the future.
He says the team was challenged to come up with a cause and that he’s already had conversations with players about their ideas for putting things into action.
"You come away realizing and recognizing that these are young men that shouldn’t have to worry about these types of things, and unfortunately, they do," Rivera said. "It’s something that needs to be corrected so people can go about their lives in a manner where they’re free, where they truly are free of having any fear of anything.
“I thought one of the more poignant moments was when one of our white players talking about having been pulled over and only worrying about: ‘Oh, where’s my driver’s license?’ As opposed to what some of his teammates has to worry about when they get pulled over.”