PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- The Arizona Cardinals announced Thursday morning that they are canceling all team activities for the day in the wake of the Jacob Blake shooting in Wisconsin.

"What happened to Jacob Blake was horrendous and it has to stop," Cardinals Head Coach Kliff Kingsbury said Thursday morning. "I know it sounds hollow at times because you hear the same things over and over. We wanted to make sure our players knew we support them and we're here for them anyway we can be."

"There's times when football takes a backburner," he continued. "[Our players can] use the day to help make the change they want to see. Whether it's on social media, using the platform that they have, or if it's going to register to vote, or trying to get other people set up register to vote. We just wanted them to know, this is their day."

Running back Kenyan Drake tweeted that the team will have the day off to reflect on recent events. 

"We have the day off today to educate and reflect on who we are as individuals and where we need to progress as people. Honored to be in an organization of men and women who lead the charge for change in this country," Drake's tweet said. 

"My dad was a longtime football coach, but also a Marine [who] served in Vietnam, received a Purple Heart. Talking to him there were two words that really stood out. Number one was respect, and the second thing was understanding," Kingsbury said. "I think [you have to] respect the viewpoints people have on this topic -- and they're very personal and very passionate -- [and] respect their right to express themselves."

"You've got to understand at its core what this is really about -- and it's always been about --drawing attention to the social injustice. ... It's about increasing awareness that racism exists. Police brutality against people of color continues to happen. And let's not forget that or confuse it with something else or make the narrative different. I think my biggest takeaway from talking to my dad was kneeling doesn't reflect a lack of patriotism or respect for the military in any way, just like standing during the anthem doesn't mean you're OK with racism or social injustice, and it's important to respect and understand that."

The NFL said that several other teams, including the Green Bay Packers, the Indianapolis Colts, and the New York Jets, were taking similar action.

 

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