Word on Friday morning was that the Ravens would not be practicing so that they could hold a “team unifying session,” but head coach John Harbaugh said that the team really came together on Thursday.
Ravens players went through a walkthrough on Friday and Harbaugh pointed to Saturday’s scrimmage, consecutive padded practices and the extended meetings the team had on Thursday as reasons for downgrading the practice level.
Harbaugh said the team met for two-plus hours on Thursday after practice to come up with an “action plan” to address their desire for reforms in criminal justice. Harbaugh said he started the meeting and then “stepped away” so players and assistant coaches could come up with the plan.
The result was a statement calling for several things, including the arrest of the officer who killed Breonna Taylor, a vote in the Senate on the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, an end to qualified immunity and fairer sentencing. They also encouraged “every citizen to act with respect and compliance when engaging with the police” and urged people to vote in local and national elections.
“I commend them for what they came up with,” Harbaugh said. “In all absolute frankness, I really wish everybody could be part of a football team or like a football team in their lifetime. Because being part of a football team is a unique thing. A football team comes from a lot of different places and races and spaces and religions. Just many different perspectives. They have to come together and stand together, even given their differences. To work together to find mutual understanding.”
Harbaugh said he was surprised by how “emotionally spent” the meetings left him and others in the organization. He also acknowledged that “we’re not going to change the whole world overnight,” but said they can change “our cul-de-sac” and hoped the work would encourage others as well.
John Harbaugh: I commend players and coaches for Thursday’s statement originally appeared on Pro Football Talk