The Green Bay Packers said in a statement Monday they were “shocked” and “deeply troubled” by the video posted to social media Sunday that shows a Black man shot multiple times in the back by Kenosha (Wisc.) Police.
In a widely seen cellphone video made by an onlooker, 29-year-old Jacob Blake was shot as he leaned into his SUV while his three children sat in the vehicle.
Police said they were responding to a call about a domestic dispute. They did not say whether Blake, who was hospitalized in serious condition, was armed or why police opened fire, they released no details on the domestic dispute, and they did not immediately disclose the race of the three officers at the scene.
“The Packers organization was shocked to see the video that showed police shooting Jacob Blake multiple times in the back,” the statement read. “We are hopeful Jacob makes a full recovery, and our thoughts are with his family.
“While we understand a full investigation of this terrible incident will take place, we are deeply troubled at what again has become a painful example of the significant challenges we face with respect to police brutality, systemic racism and injustices against Black people. We continue to call for meaningful dialogue to affect the needed change we all desire.”
The Packers’ statement came after head coach Matt LaFleur and quarterback Aaron Rodgers addressed the media after Monday’s practice and revealed that the team’s leadership council had met to discuss the shooting, which occurred in the Wisconsin city roughly 150 miles south of Green Bay.
“I wanted to get our guys’ perspective, and try to float around some ideas on how we can make a difference and use our platform, because things have to change,” LaFleur began his media session. “The social injustice, the police brutality, the antiquated laws, (we’ve) just got to bring awareness to everybody that Black lives matter. We can’t stand for this any longer.”
Rodgers credited tight end Marcedes Lewis for starting Monday’s conversation.
“There’s a systemic problem, and until the problem is fixed, this is going to be an all-too-common sighting in this country,” Rodgers said. “It obviously hits home being not far from Green Bay. I’m not going to comment directly on the video until more facts come out, but obviously it’s something where as a non-police officer, I think for a lot of us the natural question is when is lethal force necessary.
“Again, I think that goes to a systematic problem that needs to be addressed at some point. There’s antiquated laws that are prejudicial against people of color in this state. I think the governor and the folks at the Capitol need to take a hard look at some of those systems that are in place.”
Rodgers also said that he was not sure what type of statement the team will make before its Week 1 matchup against the Vikings in Minnesota, but those conversations will remain ongoing.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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