The Packers have an opportunity to show solidarity with other sports teams in the fight for social justice.
The Green Bay Packers are one of the best-known sports teams in the world, and sports can be a common denominator in our society as well as a great equalizer in our world. Sports can be a way for people to connect by building relationships and strengthening bonds.
We’ve seen it made clear in recent months, sports can and should be used as a vehicle for change.
On Monday, Packers head coach Matt LeFleur and the leadership council, including Aaron Rodgers, met to discuss their own perspectives on the current social landscape. LaFleur gave a possible plan of action related to the team in the wake of these events, via a team release.
"“I wanted to get our guys’ perspective, and try to float around some ideas on how we can make a difference and use our platform, because things have to change. The social injustice, the police brutality, the antiquated laws, (we’ve) just got to bring awareness to everybody that black lives matter. We can’t stand for this any longer.”"
In many ways, this type of dialogue can, and should be, the catalyst to do something more.
The Milwaukee Bucks boycotting an NBA playoff game on Wednesday night in response to the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin was historic and has had an immediate, profound impact across professional sports.
Teams from not only the NBA but MLB, the WNBA, the NFL, and MLS all postponed events or practices in support of the Bucks decision.
The message? Frankly, there are more important things in our world than sports.
As of this morning, the Chicago Bears, Indianapolis Colts, New York Jets, and Washington Football Team have called off their practices as a show of solidarity. Yesterday, the Detroit Lions canceled theirs.
Time will tell what Green Bay will do but the stage has been set for them to possibly follow the Bucks and other NFL teams lead when the games count. Perhaps now is the time for the Packers to follow suit with a bold statement of their own.
It’s clear from Matt LeFleur’s statement that something is on the table for the team. If and when they make an announcement, it could last for a single practice session or more. It may even carry over to the Packers’ Week One game at Minnesota.
It’s not just a move the Packers should consider, it’s a move that many feel they should definitely make.