On a day in which several NFL teams canceled practice to discuss police brutality and racial injustice, the Baltimore Ravens outlined a desired course of action.
The Ravens on Thursday issued a statement in which the organization called for officials to “arrest and charge the police officers responsible for Breonna Taylor’s killing and Jacob Blake’s shooting.”
The team also listed six other actionable points in its statement, including demanding Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell bring the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act of 2020 to the floor for a vote. The bill, passed in the House of Representatives in June, would limit the use of qualified immunity as a defense and authorizes the U.S. Department of Justice to issue subpoenas when investigating police departments for a pattern of discrimination, among other things.
The organization also is seeking “prison sentencing reform that is fair and equitable” and asked for “every citizen to act with respect and compliance when engaging with the police.”
“With yet another example of racial discrimination with the shooting of Jacob Blake, and the unlawful abuse of peaceful protesters, we MUST unify as a society,” the Ravens said in the statement. “It is imperative that all people – regardless of race, religion, creed or belief – come together to say, ‘Enough is enough!’
“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. 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 Ravens added that it is “time to accept accountability and acknowledge the ramifications of slavery and racial injustice.”
The statement comes four days after Blake, a 29-year-old unarmed Black man, was shot seven times in the back by police officers in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Taylor, a 26-year-old EMT in Louisville, was killed in March after police shot her in her own home.
Defensive end Calais Campbell, who joined the Baltimore Ravens via trade this offseason after winning the NFL’s Walter Payton Man of the Year Award in 2019 with the Jacksonville Jaguars, wrote on Twitter: “We want real change! And we want it now!”
The Ravens opted to practice on Thursday but canceled team meetings in the afternoon.