Saquon Barkley, Sterling Shepard – Giants boycott of game not ruled out

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EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ – The New York Giants haven’t ruled out the possibility of sitting down to a regular-season game to protest social injustice, according to running back Saquon Barkley and wide receiver Sterling Shepard.Barkley and Shepard were asked about Zoom calls Thursday after practice if not playing was a possibility. They did not rule it out. Both said it was something that would be discussed within the team.

“I can’t really go and speak for the whole league, but for us it’s something we’re going to talk about in our [social justice] groups, within our team, ”Barkley said. What we talk about in player meetings stays in player meetings. ”

It’s unclear how serious Giants players are about skipping a game. The Giants will open their doors on September 14, a Monday night, as they host the Pittsburgh Steelers.

“It’s something we’re going to talk about as a team. I won’t comment on this until we do, ”Shepard said.

The Giants players and team plan to continue their conversation on social justice issues Thursday afternoon and into the evening.

The Giants held practice Thursday while several other NFL teams decided to stay off the field in response to Jacob Blake’s shooting by police. NBA players boycotted the playoff games the day before and the WNBA postponed the games.

It hasn’t gone unnoticed among Giants players.

“Praise them for standing up, using their platform, using their voice,” Barkley said.

Giants coach Joe Judge said he spoke to his board of directors over the past few days – and again on Thursday morning – and that they have decided to continue training, in part to give youngsters players a fair chance to make a good impression in this shortened training camp. .

The judge and the Giants would continue their social justice conversation Thursday afternoon during the gaps in the team’s schedule.

The judge was adamant that they cannot just offer general statements and must instead take action. Actors were split into nine social justice groups earlier this year and were given the freedom to choose causes in the local community where they wish to get involved. The coach has empowered players to drive initiatives and actions, including how to move forward now given recent events in Wisconsin.

“We let the players think about what they want to do,” Judge said Thursday. “We’re going to have conversations as coaches and owners tonight, and then we’ll have more answers. ”

Owners John Mara and Steve Tisch were key figures in the talks, according to Judge.

Barkley said video of Blake’s shooting made him “sick”. He later told a story about how he had been affected by social injustice following an incident involving his father. Barkley, who was then a student at Penn State, said the situation was “mismanaged” by police.

This made him understand that he was not immune to the problems of our country.

“You can’t think of him as, ‘Oh, it’s Jacob Blake,’” Barkley said. “Obviously I know he’s not dead, but you have to be like, ‘What if I was in this situation?’ What if it was your brother, your cousin, what if it was [Shepard], and if it was Golden [Tate] or all of these guys. It’s kind of my way of seeing things. ”

Barkley understands that he is able to make a statement through his words and actions. He intends to take advantage of his platform.

He is one of the biggest stars in the NFL and has 2.2 million followers on Instagram alone.

“I understand that God put me in a position to be able to have a platform. To be able to use my voice. I have been big on knowing my story, especially the athletes. The Bill Russells of the world, the Colin Kaepernicks of the world, and how they were able to handle these situations and use their voices, ”Barkley said. “It creates conversation. You must be asking yourself, “What can you do? What can you do? ”

” This is just the beginning. You have to start these conversations and then take action. Find ways to do it. This is what we are trying to do with our team. And when we keep finding the right things to do, we will keep doing it. “

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