Bears Cancel Practice, Joining Protests Over Jacob Blake Shooting

Bears players didn't take the field Thursday morning.

LAKE FOREST, Ill. (670 The Score) -- Bears offensive line coach Juan Castillo stood alone in a corner of the far practice field from Halas Hall on Thursday morning without players in sight. Other team staff members waited as the start of practice passed without a player present on the field.

Bears players held a protest at Halas Hall, joining teams and leagues around the country in raising awareness for social justice in the wake of the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin on Sunday.

The Bears issued a statement on behalf of their players late Thursday afternoon.

“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," the statement said. "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.”

Players took to Twitter in the wake of the morning practice being canceled.

"Alone we are nothing," Bears running back David Montgomery tweeted. "Together we are everything!"

Two hours after the Bears were scheduled to meet as a team, safety Eddie Jackson tweeted.

"I love the unity we have as a team, staff and organization," Jackson said.

The Lions were the first team to hold a planned protest, canceling practice Tuesday and sharing a message calling for social change before gathered media on-site at the team's facility in Allen Park, Mich.

On Wednesday, the Bucks refused to take the floor for their NBA playoff game against the Magic at the league's bubble site in Orlando. The NBA's two other playoff games were also postponed while the players' association and board of governors decided what their next course of action would be. Three MLB games were also postponed Wednesday as a form of protest.

The Packers were among NFL teams to cancel practice Thursday. The NHL postponed all of its playoff games scheduled in the league's bubbles in Toronto and Edmonton. The NBA maintained its pause in action in Orlando. MLB also had several games postponed.

Bears coach Matt Nagy said the team discussed the shooting of Blake and social justice after practice Tuesday.

"It’s very disturbing for everybody and it has to stop," Nagy said Tuesday. "We talked about it with our football team, the biggest thing is all of us understanding the platform that we have and that we need to use that every single day and it’s imperative that we do that and use that platform and do it together."

The Bears didn't make any players or coaches available to reporters Thursday for further comment.

Chris Emma covers the Bears, Chicago’s sports scene and more for Follow him on Twitter @CEmma670.

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