Packers return to practice, but remain focused on social justice afterwards
GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - The Packers may have returned to practice Friday, but their focus remained on social justice afterwards.
“If people can watch us on TV playing football, why can’t they hear us when we are talking about real life issues?” asked inside linebacker Christian Kirksey.
“A lot of us come from very humble beginnings,” said safety Adrian Amos. “We’ve reached a status where we can make a lot of money to play a sport. Don’t forget we worked our way to get there. We still have families at home. We still have people around us. We still aren’t immune to certain things that are going on. When I’m voicing my opinion, I’m voicing my opinion just as much as you are. Just because I have this title and you feel as though I get paid a lot of money, that doesn’t mean I have to be quiet.”
Billy Turner called Thursday’s team meeting emotional, impactful, and positive.
“We were all able to be in a room with the door shut and communicate about how we felt about what was going on in our society as well as what we thought, as a team, we could do to better the world and to better society,” Turner said.
Turner explained the protests this year will be more profound than ever when the season begins.
“Protesting has been going on since the land before time man, forever,” Turner said. “It’s not going to stop this year. If anything, it is going to be more profound. I saw the comments that Jerry Jones made about hoping his team can do something together before the anthem and then stand for the anthem. That’s not what protesting is about. Protesting the national anthem is to get a point across that society and everyone watching football games every Sunday will have a chance to see so you get your point across. The idea of protesting is to make people that are higher up, like our president, notice what we are doing. We understand that he doesn’t like that. Why do you think we continue to protest? It is because nothing has changed.”
Turner talked about his disappointment in society.
“If I could be blacker, I would, but I’m embarrassed to be a human because that’s not what being a human is about,” Turner said. “That’s not why we’re here. We’re here to love one another, to cherish each other, to uplift, to continue life. We’re not here to cut each other and to kill each other, and that’s the only thing that the history in this country has shown me today.”
Turner said on Friday that he did not foresee a boycott of games being part of the Packers’ future plans.
While there is a lot of uncertainty moving forward with the next steps on race relations, there is also a lot of uncertainty on the field questioning how well this team is actually prepared for its opener at Minnesota.
“There is a lot of unknown when you don’t have preseason games and are competing against yourself,” said coach Matt LaFleur. “It’s always a double-edged sword. When the defense gets the better of the offense, it’s great for the defense but you are then concerned about the offense. And vice versa. I just think there is a lot of unknown.”
Copyright 2020 WBAY. All rights reserved.