Shaun Gayle: Baltimore Ravens’ statement on social justice made others take notice

Professional sports teams, such as the Baltimore Ravens, speaking out in the fight for social justice are making more people take notice, says former NFL defensive back Shaun Gayle.

Multiple NFL teams announced on Thursday morning they were cancelling practice to use the time instead to invest in social justice change, following the police shooting of Jacob Blake and the civil unrest that followed.

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Washington team president Jason Wright says NFL players could follow the lead of other US sports and boycott matches in support of social justice.

While the Ravens called for specific action, including the prosecution of those responsible for the death of Blake, in a statement vowing to use their platform to drive change.

Statement from the Baltimore Ravens:

“Individuals are getting more involved, [in] groups such as the Baltimore Ravens and other sport teams, a large percentage of those individuals are black Americans. The closer you are to the problem the more involved you have to get,” Gayle told Sky Sports News.

“Teams are doing that because now individuals realise we cannot deal with this just by rhetoric or just a once in a while meeting. Protest is supposed to be uncomfortable and they are making a lot of people take notice with what they are doing.

“We’ve been here before, [if] you take a look at the social unrest and the brutality of police. The fact that professional sports leagues and athletes are getting involved is very important.

“It’s a moment in time where there is no more sitting on the proverbial sideline.

“For me the answer starts with the basics. We need to have true equality across the board, not just the players on the pitch but in management and in ownership and in coaching.

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