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Matt Patricia issues to challenge to NFL after Lions cancel practice to honor Jacob Blake

Matt Patricia, Lions

Detroit Lions head coach Matt Patricia canceled the team’s practice on Tuesday, instead opting to use the time to honor Jacob Blake.

Blake, 29, was shot several times in the back on Sunday by Kenosha, Wisconsin police officers in front of his children. He is being treated at a Milwaukee hospital and is reportedly paralyzed from the waist down.

Patricia talked with his players about the Blake shooting and decided that it was more beneficial to use the latest viral incident of police brutality against a black person as an opportunity to learn and listen.

“I challenge everybody in the league to go out there and to continue these conversations and to listen,” Patricia said. “These are real stories. … We want to be a part of the solution.”

The Lions’ players and staff gathered in front of the team’s practice facility holding a sign that read “We won’t be silent.”

Patricia added that even “If it affects one person, it’s worth it,” and hopes other teams follow suit.

“Maybe there’s a chain reaction here that’s started with the other teams. Maybe it pushes forward that way and that’d be great.”

In addition to Lions’ players and staff offering their stand on the situation, the Green Bay Packers’ players and coaches also gathered to discuss the Blake shooting.

“[We] 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,” Green Bay head coach Matt LaFleur said. “The social injustice, the police brutality, the antiquated laws, [we] just got to bring awareness to everybody that Black lives matter. We can’t stand for this any longer.”

With the Lions and Packers among the teams pushing for change, the hope is that more stars will use their platform to fight for change.