Following the release of the graphic and horrific video depicting the murder of Jacob Blake, sports across the country took a hiatus, and the Broncos were no exception as they canceled practice on Thursday, and decided to hold team meetings that would discuss race instead.
The video is incredibly hard to watch and it hit especially close to home for free agent acquisition Melvin Gordon, who’s originally from Kenosha, Wisconsin, where the shooting took place.
“I was so emotional because I have family that was out there that seen the shooting, and that could have been them,” Gordon said while addressing the team during their meeting about the Blake murder. “That could have been one of my family members getting shot in the back seven times. That could have been my family shot in the middle of the street — one of my family, one of my friends. And that was just so disheartening…It hurts, even more, when it hits at home — when it’s at home and in your own backyard and it’s your people.”
Later, Justin Simmons addressed the media on Friday to discuss the shooting of Blake and a series of posts he made to his Instagram story showcasing some of the racially insensitive messages he has received.
“I get people watch sports for just that, the enjoyment of the sport, but isn’t that part of the problem in America? That people view us just as entertainment to them?” Simmons said. “That’s part of what my post was about. For those that saw it, the fan, when I was wearing the jersey and I visited this fan’s dad in the hospital, I was a great guy. But as soon as I started speaking out on some things that pertained to my life, I’m worthless and I need to shut up and play the game.”