Because one of the baddest Bears of all time said something the team considers really bad, the Chicago NFL team is now distancing itself from Hall of Fame linebacker Brian Urlacher.
In a since-deleted post, Urlacher used his Instagram account to disparage NBA players who said they could not continue the playoffs in the aftermath of the shooting of Jacob Blake by police in Kenosha, Wisconsin. After a pause, the NBA playoffs are resuming.
“Brett Favre played the MNF game the day his dad died, threw 4 TDs in the first half, and was a legend for playing in the face of adversity,” the Hall of Famer wrote. “NBA players boycott the playoffs because a dude reaching for a knife, wanted on a felony sexual assault warrant, was shot by police.”
Urlacher also clicked the “like” button on someone else’s Instagram post reading “Free Kyle Rittenhouse.” Rittenhouse, 17, has been charged in the shooting deaths of two people during the rioting in Kenosha that came after Blake’s shooting.
— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) August 27, 2020
The team was quick to say that Urlacher did not speak for it.
“The social media posts in no way reflect the values or opinions of the Chicago Bears organization,” the team said in a statement Thursday night, according to NBC Sports.
The Bears had also decided that the shooting required a day off.
“In the wake of what has taken place in our backyard of Kenosha over the last couple of days, we as a team have a lot on our mind today,” Bears players said in a statement. “We decided to pause our football activities to voice to each other, our coaches and our staff where we stand on the real issues around race and police brutality in our country.
“We had a productive discussion, but we all agreed that talks and discussions are simply not enough anymore and we need action. We are putting in plans to take action in our communities and together we believe we can make a real difference. We need action not only today, but in the days to come.”
Statement from Chicago Bears players: pic.twitter.com/pEL2ywtMD1
— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) August 27, 2020
Many others condemned Urlacher.
Acknowledge racism and injustice but instead choose to place their energy into justifying it by quickly judging the victims life as if they themselves are more valuable because their sins are different or weren’t caught by man… but God sees all
— Matt Forte (@MattForte22) August 28, 2020
Brian Urlacher is a Trump supporter, so no surprise he’s a racist lunatic who supports white supremacist violence.
— Palmer Report (@PalmerReport) August 27, 2020
Brian Urlacher a sucka!!
— Miles Bridges (@MilesBridges) August 27, 2020
— LoyalLobo (@LoyalLobo) August 28, 2020
On NBC’s Pro Football Talk, Mike Florio attacked Urlacher, who spent his entire 13-year career with Chicago, for his Instagram post.
“Apart from the nonsensical comparison of Favre, who chose to play through a personal tragedy that had no broader societal significance, to the repeated shooting in the back of Jacob Blake (a/k/a ‘a dude’) by police, Urlacher takes refuge in the reckless whatabout? narrative that many have adopted in the aftermath of the latest video that shows, to anyone with a fair mind and a human heart, the use of lethal force when other non-lethal means for subduing a suspect were readily available,” the liberal football commentator wrote.
“Jacob Blake wasn’t reaching for a knife. He had a knife in the car. (News flash: Plenty of people have knives in their cars.)”
“The actions of the officers who shot Jacob Blake strike directly to the heart of the concerns first raised by Colin Kaepernick in August 2016,” Florio added.
On Thursday, White House adviser Jared Kushner, who is also President Donald Trump’s son-in-law, touched on the issue of NBA playoff cancellations by noting that pro athletes are in a different position from most Americans, according to CNBC.
“NBA players are very fortunate that they have the financial position where they’re able to take a night off from work without having to have the consequences to themselves financially,” Kushner said. “So they have that luxury, which is great.”
“Look, I think with the NBA, there’s a lot of activism, and I think that they’ve put a lot of slogans out. But I think what we need to do is turn that from slogans and signals to actual action that’s going to solve the problem,” he said.
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