The Cincinnati Bengals are holding practice today as training camp will wrap up soon. However, they’ll be doing so amid protests around sports that have seen teams boycotting practice and even games.
On Wednesday, the Milwaukee Bucks boycotted Game 5 of their first-round /NBA playoff series against the Orlando Magic. After that, the Houston Rockets vs. Oklahoma City Thunder and Portland Trail Blazers vs. Los Angeles Lakers games were also postponed.
The boycotts were to protest racial injustice in America, specifically a Black man named Jacob Blake being shot seven times in the back by police in Kenosha, Wisconsin on Sunday.
The Bengals are practicing today, but several players did speak out prior to practice, specifically A.J. Green.
“I don’t have a problem with it,” Green told Bengals.com of deciding to practice today. “But at the same time, I think we as a team need to get together and have a bigger discussion (about) what’s going on in this world, how we can make a change and I think it starts from the top.”
Green then mentioned that the changes pro athletes are demanding to see starts at the top.
“It’s just starting from the top, having the uncomfortable conversation with the owners, the general managers, and making everyone feel comfortable,” Green said. “I think a lot of players are scared to talk because a lot of people aren’t financially stable to where they can make comments on how they feel about things and not feel like they will get cut or something like that. I think it starts from the top and that will create an environment where these guys are comfortable voicing their opinion and not feel like, ‘This could cost me my job because I have a family to feed.’”
Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow posted this on Twitter:
How can you hear the pain Black people are going through and dismiss it as nothing. How can you hear the pain and respond with anything other than “I stand with you.”— Joey Burrow (@JoeyB) August 27, 2020
It’s great to see the Bengals’ leaders stepping up and saying what needs to be said to help bring attention to the injustices being done in America. Hopefully, their voices are heard and make a valuable impact on society.