In the wake of mass walkouts in the sports world due to the Jacob Blake shooting in Wisconsin, the Washington Football Team has opted to cancel practice on Thursday to meet as a team and discuss social injustice and racism.
Owner Dan Snyder is expected to participate in the meetings, too, despite the latest sexual misconduct accusations that surfaced against him and his organization on Wednesday morning.
“We went to Mr. Snyder with our plan for tomorrow and we were given his complete support and approval,” coach Ron Rivera said in a statement. “Friday we can return to football. But tomorrow will be about reflection instead.
“In place of our practice at FedExField, the players, coaches and football staff will meet as a football family and we will continue our open dialogue on the issues of racism and social injustice in our country. Mr. Snyder and [team president Jason Wright] will join us in our discussion with the team tomorrow, just as Mr. Snyder and I will support Jason in similar discussions we are planning for members of the business and stadium side of this organization.”
It has been a very difficult day on many levels. After many conversations with Head Coach Ron Rivera and Jason, we have decided to postpone tomorrow’s practice at FedExField to engage in meaningful dialogue on social injustice. pic.twitter.com/7rGYYxDurD— Julie Donaldson (@juliedonaldson_) August 27, 2020
Washington latest to address shooting
Blake, a 29-year-old Black man, was shot multiple times in the back by Kenosha, Wisconsin police as he tried to get into his car. The horrific video showed the incident and instantly drew widespread condemnation on social media. An attorney for the Blake family said that three of his children were in the car at the time of the incident, too.
The Milwaukee Bucks staged a walkout of their playoff game on Wednesday afternoon, and every other NBA team slated to play after them followed suit — as did the WNBA, MLS and select MLB teams and players.
The Lions canceled practice on Tuesday — marking the first known time an NFL team canceled practice to address social justice issues — and addressed the media outside of the team’s practice facility with messages displayed on a giant whiteboard.
“We had our team meeting this morning and no football was talked about,” quarterback Matthew Stafford said. “Coach just opened the floor. The conversations lasted four hours, and it was incredible to be a part of it. … There’s been a lot of days I’ve been proud to be a Lion and a QB in the NFL, but there’s never been a day I’ve been more proud than today.”
Though it’s not clear exactly what will be discussed on Thursday, Rivera is hoping it can at least help his team take a step in the right direction and be part of a local solution.
“We are all in this together,” Rivera said. “As a team we will work to figure out ways that we can make a positive impact in our communities.”
More from Yahoo Sports: