INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Members of the Indianapolis Colts gathered together Friday to issue a joint statement on the team’s fight for racial justice.
The statement came one day after the team canceled their Thursday practice to focus on a discussion aimed at working to make a lasting social impact and inspire change in the community. The Colts joined a number of other professional athletic organizations this week in protest of the police shooting of a Black man, Jacob Blake.
Blake was shot in the back seven times at close range by police in Kenosha, Wis. on Sunday. The officer who shot Blake has been identified as Rusten Sheskey, a seven-year veteran of the Kenosha Police Department. The shooting sparked several nights of protests and unrest in Kenosha.
“On behalf of the players, teams, coaches, staff, the organization, we’re here to say we’re hurt,” said Colts quarterback Jacoby Brissett Friday morning during a press conference at Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center on the city’s west side. “We’re hurt because we feel the pain of not only our black teammates, but our black community.”
Brissett, along with his teammates and Colts leadership, including head coach Frank Reich, said the team would use their platform, resources and relationships with the community to impact change.
“Back in the spring when we came out of our three days of meetings, one message was really clear, that talk isn’t going to be enough,” said Colts head coach Frank Reich. “Discussions are important, conversations need to be had, but more than anything we need action, and it needs to be systemic in our organization, through everybody.”
Reich said the organization remains dedicated to not being passive.
“I think what you’ve seen demonstrated by our players, what you’ll see demonstrated by our organization, is a focused fight against injustice, particularly systemic racism,” said Reich.
The Colts posted a full video of their statement on Facebook.