3. The canceled scrimmage and reaction to the Jacob Blake shooting
Hard Knocks tried to be fun this week with some of the early stuff in the episode, but there just wasn’t any way around the protests from last week. The opening clip of the show was a Rams’ communications director showing a clip of the seven shots fired at Jacob Blake to Sean McVay. After that, Lynn is shown thinking about those seven shots and their implications.
Both coaches were faced with a tough test. In this time of civil unrest, in this time of protest, how do you lead the team in handling it? We know now that the Thursday scrimmage at SoFi Stadium was canceled for the Chargers, but the decision was obviously not so simple. In episode four, we saw the conversations and moments that led to that decision.
Tyrod Taylor‘s leadership shined through as he played a part in rallying the guys to the locker room and was one of the leaders in the discussion. Another leader was special teams coach was George Stewart.
He talked about how he has dealt with racism over the pays 56 years, from the time he was 6 to now as a 62-year-old. That seemed like an important perspective to have, simply because no current NFL players can quite relate to that background.
Coach Stew from the heart. pic.twitter.com/UvQxo4q16J
— Los Angeles Chargers (@Chargers) September 2, 2020
“You gotta lose something to get something”. Specifically invoking Colin Kaepernick‘s name was important because that was a man who lost it all for the players to even have the ability to protest.
Without Kaepernick, the NBA players wouldn’t have protested last week and I doubt the NFL would be where it is in addressing systemic racism and police brutality. The Ravens certainly wouldn’t have posted demands to lawmakers on these issues in 2015 or 2016.
It was also very inspiring to see the players respond and follow Lynn onto the field. Standing up together made their platform more powerful than if they had been apart. Seeing people from all types of different backgrounds speak up was great.
Whether it was Taylor or Ty Long, Lynn or Tom Telesco, everyone was unified in using the NFL’s platform to speak out against the injustices of our own law enforcement.