Raiders players, coaches join social justice battle; address racial inequalities

Posted at 8:34 PM, Aug 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-30 01:23:05-04

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Raiders Head Coach Jon Gruden drew up a new play at practice Friday and it may be his most important ever.

"I want [the team] to take tomorrow off," Gruden told reporters at Allegiant Stadium Friday.

"I'm going to give them a portion of Sunday off to research what is really going on and educate themselves on where we are," Gruden continued.

Gruden's challenge comes as sports leagues around the United States boycott games over racial inequality.

"I pray everybody can open their heart, and get on the same team; politically, socially, and always," Gruden said.

The call for unity comes after the shooting of Jacob Blake, 29.

Blake was shot several times by a police officer in Kenosha, Wisc. on Aug. 23.

He is paralyzed from the waist down and unable to walk.

Jacob Blake's father says son is paralyzed from waist down, reports say

Tyrell Williams, Raiders Wide Receiver, walked into practice Friday wearing a shirt with a clear message: "Stop Killing Black People!"

Several players took to social media and expressed frustration with the number of African-Americans being killed or injured by police officers.

Around the National Football League, some teams have canceled practice, others have established action plans.

Troy Vincent, Executive VP of Football Operations, gave an emotional interview on ESPN Radio Thursday.

"I think about my 3 boys," Vincent said. "I got a 22-year-old, a 20-year-old, and a 15-year-old and I'm trying to prevent from being hunted."

In Las Vegas, Coach Gruden assured his team they will make an impact and change lives.

"Not just protesting, not just tweeting. We're going to do something as a football team, and prove it," Gruden said.

According to ESPN, Allegiant Stadium will serve as a polling place on the November 3 election.

13 Action News has reached out to the Raiders, as well as Clark County to independently confirm.