- The Baltimore Ravens issued a statement on the shooting of Jacob Blake on Thursday.
- The Ravens statement included a list of actionable demands from the team, including a call for Senator Mitch McConnel to bring a bill on police brutality to the floor for a vote.
- Fans and reporters alike praised the Ravens' statement for its directness and candor.
- Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.
The Baltimore Ravens are earning praise from fans and media alike for their statement on the police shooting of Jacob Blake.
Over the past few months, since the wave of protests sparked by the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police, athletes from around the sports world have made plenty of statements on issues of social justice and police brutality.
What set the Ravens' statement on Thursday apart was its direct calls to action. After first making a clear call for unity and declaring "Enough is enough," the Ravens went on to offer several specifics outcomes they'd like to see in the wake of this latest shooting, including calling on Senator Mitch McConnell to bring the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act of 2020 to the Senate floor for a vote.
Read the Ravens statement in full below.
- Arrest and charge the police officers responsible for Breonna Taylor's killing and the shooting of Jacob Blake.
- Demand that Senator Mitch McConnell bring the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act of 2020 to the Senate floor for vote.
- End qualified immunity; require body cameras; ban chokeholds and no-knock warrants; hold police accountable in court; establish a framework to prohibit racial profiling at federal, state, and local levels
- Support state- and federally-mandated CALEA Accreditation and national standards of care in policing.
- Encourage everyone to engage in the political process by registering to vote on both the local and national level. (www.risetovote.turbovote.org.)
- Demand prison sentencing reform that is fair and equitable.
- Encourage every citizen to act with respect and compliance when engaging with the police. If you feel there has been an abuse of power, we encourage you to contact your police department's internal affairs unit. (For Baltimore City, dial 410-396-2300.)
On Twitter, supporters of the Ravens cause were receptive to the actionable goals that the statement set out. Rather than a general statement, it was a call to action.
The way the statement skipped over the pleasantries was somewhat reminiscent of how the Milwaukee Bucks had handled their own statement on Wednesday after the team decided to refuse to take the court for their scheduled game against the Orlando Magic, sparking a wave of similar protests that spread across basketball and later the sports world at large.
The Bucks stayed in their locker room for hours after their game had already been called, formulating a statement that included specific goals that could be moved upon, and ultimately called for action from the Wisconsin State Legislature.
While a statement as direct as the one Baltimore made might be unexpected from the NFL, the Ravens as a franchise have been rather forward-thinking over the past few years regarding player protest and activism. In 2017, when the debate surrounding players' right to kneel in protest of police brutality during the national anthem became a national issue, Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti voiced his whole-hearted support of the players for making their voices heard.
"We recognize our players' influence. We respect their demonstration and support them 100 percent. All voices need to be heard. That's democracy in its highest form," he said at the time.
Three years later, the Ravens are once again leading the NFL with their words.
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