Amidst a flurry of professional sports teams postponing games after the shooting of Jacob Blake, the Baltimore Ravens have released a statement saying that racism “is embedded in the fabric of our nation’s foundation,” and we must unite in order to combat it.
“With yet another example of racial discrimination with the shooting of Jacob Blake, and the unlawful abuse of peaceful protestors, we MUST unify as a society. It is imperative that all people — regardless of race, religion, creed or belief — come together to say, ‘Enough is Enough,’” said the NFL team in a statement Thursday.
“This is bigger than sports. Racism is embedded in the fabric of our nation’s foundation and is a blemish on our country’s history,” the team continued. “If we are to change course and make our world a better place, we must face this problem head-on and act now to enact positive change.”
The statement also calls for the country to “accept accountability and acknowledge the ramifications of slavery and injustice,” and suggests several steps the nation can take to enact justice, including calling on the public to demand that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) bring House-passed policing legislation to a vote in the Senate.
Statement from the Baltimore Ravens: pic.twitter.com/Q8kOzQ8qAZ
— Baltimore Ravens (@Ravens) August 27, 2020
Back in June, when Senator Tim Scott (R-SC), who is black, unveiled a policing bill endorsed by a handful of Republican senators to counter the proposal passed in the House of Representatives, Democratic Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) trashed it as “so threadbare and lacking in substance that it does not even provide a proper baseline for negotiations.”
The Senate ultimately didn’t pass any bills focused on policing.
In their statement on Thursday, the Baltimore Ravens also asked that people “act with respect and compliance when engaging with the police,” pushed for national criminal justice reform, and called for the arrest of the officers “responsible for Breonna Taylor’s killing and the shooting of Jacob Blake.”
Taylor was killed by police who were executing a search warrant — as part of a larger drug investigation into someone else — after her boyfriend allegedly fired a warning shot, purportedly believing the police officers to be unlawful intruders into her Kentucky home. Police officers did not recover any drugs from the scene.
According to Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Haul (D), Blake was fired upon in the back seven times. Before the shooting, officers had attempted to arrest him and had also failed to subdue him with a taser, although it’s not clear why the taser route failed.
Blake proceeded to walk “around his vehicle, open the driver side door, and lean forward” before he was shot. Investigators later recovered a knife from the driver’s side. He is currently in the hospital, and an attorney for the family has said Blake is now paralyzed and a miracle will be required for him to walk again, according to CBS News.
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