The recent devastating incident involving 29-year-old Jacob Blake in Kenosha Wisconsin has rocked the sports world. It has generated a strong response from many prominent athletes and coaches that greatly desire much-needed social change. That has seen leagues such as the NBA and MLB cancel games due to their players’ emotional connection to the ongoing social issues. It has also led to New York Giants star running back Saquon Barkley to consider possibly sitting out games in the 2020 season.
NFL community’s strong response to the Jacob Blake shooting
In the first few days after the near-fatal shooting of Jacob Blake, there has been a strong wave of reactions.
It has seen several NFL head coaches and prominent players voice their frustrations with the situation. Star quarterbacks Aaron Rodgers and Cam Newton each aired their disappointment with the continued occurrence of these happening across the country.
Meanwhile, coaches such as Mike McCarthy, Kliff Kingsbury, and Matt LaFleur all voiced their desire for action to see these issues finally cease to exist. There is an intense outpouring of sentiment toward creating social change to avoid another situation like what transpired with Blake in Wisconsin.
The recent actions of what the NBA, MLB, MLS, and WNBA have taken in response to the situation has players like Pro Bowler Saquon Barkley considering a significant move.
Saquon Barkley won’t rule out sitting out games in the 2020 season
The conversation around social injustice has no bounds of where it’s discussed.
That has shifted the conversation around the NFL to potentially seeing teams decide to boycott games in the 2020 regular season. Giants star running back Saquon Barkley hinted as much as he stated that his team has talked about that among other various options.
“I can’t really just go and speak on behalf of the whole league, but, for us, that is something that we’re going to talk about within our [social justice] groups, within our team,” Barkley said on Thursday. “What’s talked about in players meetings stays in players meetings.”
That isn’t to say that Barkley or the Giants will sit out a game, but the possibility is certainly there. The focus remains on the continued social injustice that seemingly has no end with more lives negatively impacted. It’s an issues that holds importance that far exceeds any sporting event.
If anything, it’s something to keep an eye on as the regular season draws closer.
Could more NFL players go this route?
Given the actions that players in the NBA and MLB took with canceling games, it wouldn’t be farfetched to see NFL players go that route.
The situation will likely lend to seeing commissioner Roger Goodell, and the league take further action to help generate social change. The NFL will keep a close eye on what the NBA decides to do to increase their involvement after their players nearly boycotted the playoffs.
It could go a long way in avoiding the possibility of any of the 16 regular-season games being canceled. Goodell also has the chance to back his recent comments of wishing he listened to former star quarterback Colin Kaepernick earlier. That said, if Saquon Barkley aired these strong sentiments, it’s highly likely many more players feel the same way about the situation.
It’s now on the NFL shoulders to listen to its players and allow them to express their strong feelings regarding social issues through their elevated platform.