The Detroit Lions have officially revealed their reaction to the death of George Floyd and the evolving and necessary conversation about race in America.
Wednesday afternoon, the team put forth a statement to DetroitLions.com. It read as follows:
“The painful examples of racism and social injustice reflected in the senseless deaths happening in our country are incredibly disturbing and it is clear that immediate change is necessary.
Over the last several days, it was important for our team to gather virtually so that the pain, confusion, anger and frustration that people are feeling could be shared as we attempt to process what is happening around us. This range of emotion has consumed the time we have spent together as a team this week. Our internal conversations have been powerful and emotional. We will continue to listen, support our players and learn as we press forward together.
Right is right and wrong is wrong. What is happening is not acceptable. We recognize that the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery are only the most recent examples plaguing our communities. Our club vows to expand on the work already being done in the Detroit community – through real action and conversation – to help our team make an impact in areas of great need. We have a duty to lead these conversations now and always, but it is equally if not more important that we continue to LISTEN. The events over the past week are a hurtful reminder that we have a long way to go with inclusion, diversity and equality for all people.
We have a responsibility to create positive change.”
With the Lions, now all 4 of Detroit’s major sports teams have released strong takes on the situation currently taking place in America and the need for change.
Matt Patricia Reacts to George Floyd Murder
Patricia opened up to Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated in a piece and explained what he felt after seeing the video that has haunted the world, while explaining how the team has been taking the news.
“Honestly, I was just disgusted, angry, sad, depressed,” Patricia said. “The range of emotion, you watch the video, someone being murdered and you’re like … I didn’t even know how to process it. And the range of emotion I know I felt in watching that was only one-tenth of a fraction of a minute percent of what my players must’ve been feeling. So when I got up on Friday, I didn’t sleep much. I’d been grinding on stuff all night, it was just, ‘This isn’t right.’”
As Patricia also told Breer, it was on him as the coach to set the tone after that moment and he did so simply by listening to his players and opening the floor up to them while letting the conversation dictate where everybody goes next. As he said, the meeting was little about football and more about life.
“It was just about listening and making sure we tried to get on and open it up for conversation, real conversation, truthful conversation, honest conversation, heartfelt conversation,” Patricia said. “And really, honestly, credit to my players for leading that. They’re the ones that really were able to get it to where it became so powerful.”
In the staff meeting and the team meeting, there was a diversity of race, age, and regional and socioeconomic backgrounds that allowed everyone to bring something.”
Patricia said in the piece the time is not right to talk football, and that is a true revelation. Everyone will have something on their chest and will want to clear the air, and this experience could impact players for days and weeks into the future. Letting the team control where
Truthfully, the team should be thankful to have a leader like Patricia in this moment who is more prepared to listen than talk. That is significant and important at a tough moment in history.
David Blough Tweets Desire to Learn, Grow
Blough, in the aftermath of the death of George Floyd at the hands of a police officer in Minneapolis, Minnesota and also in the aftermath of seeing the demonstrations that have swept the country, admits that he wants to start the process of healing by listening and understanding.
I will never be able to understand.
I want to listen and learn.
If you’re reading this, I love you.
I will fight for you.
— David Blough (@david_blough10) June 1, 2020
As Blough also said, he’s prepared to fight for the rights of the oppressed and also shared that he has love for anyone and everyone who reads what he has to say.
Blough’s comments are open, honest and just the type of thing that needs to be seen in America at this point in time in order to get over the hump of the issues that are faced as a society. Credit to him for stating his desire to listen and help in the change that can hopefully come.
Tyrell Crosby’s Powerful Statement About Protests
Blough hasn’t been the only player from Detroit making powerful statements regarding everything playing out. Offensive lineman Tyrell Crosby, who has been vocal about the need for change and the power of protest on social media, was frustrated by the direction the events took when many turned violent overnight. While Crosby strongly believes the peaceful protests and demonstrations are needed, he took to Twitter to admonish those who are needlessly destroying property and hijacking such events to do senseless damage, saying it does more harm than good to the overall message.
To the punks who try to hijack these powerful and needed protests and make them about destruction. I hope you understand that does more harm then good towards the black community.
— Tyrell Crosby (@Tyrellcrosby) June 1, 2020
Protests across the nation over the weekend turned violent as the sun went down all over the country, but a few communities in the state which Crosby works were hit particularly hard. Detroit and Grand Rapids, Michigan had rough Saturday nights with multiple fires set, windows broken and businesses looted and vandalized. Things seem to have calmed in both places overall, but plenty of damage has been done.
Crosby also shared a great take in a thread he posted on Twitter, capturing perfectly the feelings many African Americans have with regards to police interactions.
I’m not afraid becuase of the infraction I committed. I am human and make mistakes but I’m also responsible and don’t act like I’m speed racer down the road. So when I’m pulled over I’m honest about my wrongdoing because I know what I did wasn’t that bad. Still I’m afraid.
— Tyrell Crosby (@Tyrellcrosby) May 29, 2020
So, with seeing all those types of news stories consistently while growing up, It becomes TERRIFYING to be pulled over. Not having a clue if the person pulling you over is like the vast majority of officers who truly are heroes & good people or if its the small % who are vile.
— Tyrell Crosby (@Tyrellcrosby) May 29, 2020
Obviously, Crosby’s message is simple. Things have to change in a big way, but mixing additional violence with that message to achieve the goal is hardly the answer.
Having Patricia at the helm to steer his players through an unprecedented situation might prove to be a huge advantage in the end.