Chicago Bears head coach Matt Nagy canceled team and player meetings in support of Blackout Tuesday, sources confirmed to ESPN.
Celebrities, organizations and activists posted blank, black boxes on social media and refrained from further posting Tuesday in support of protests against police brutality. The demonstrations arose after George Floyd died in Minneapolis a week ago while in police custody.
On Monday, Bears chairman George McCaskey released a statement about Floyd’s death.
“A week ago another unarmed African-American man died at the hands of a white police officer. We are witnessing the anger and frustration play out in protests across the nation, including Chicago,” McCaskey said.
“We must do more than wring our hands and hope it doesn’t happen again. As an organization, we have addressed it internally by offering unconditional support to our family of staff, coaches and players, and today [general manager] Ryan Pace and Coach Nagy spent the allotted two hours of team meeting time listening to and healing together with our players and the coaching staff.
“Through our voice, our actions and our resources, it is our obligation to lead. We will continue to work with our player-led social justice committee to provide funding and exposure to local organizations dedicated to empowering communities that have been oppressed for far too long.
“We’re proud to support organizations like BUILD Chicago, I Grow Chicago, My Block, My Hood, My City, and Youth Guidance, among others, who are doing great work in these communities and we encourage fans to partner with us in supporting them. Our commitment is to continue to be an active participant in change.”
The cancellation of team meetings was originally reported by Pro Football Talk.
Several Bears players, including defensive tackle Akiem Hicks and linebacker Danny Trevathan, are scheduled to address the media Wednesday and Thursday. Both serve on the team’s social justice reform committee.