The Giants weren’t among the various NFL teams to cancel a practice this week following the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Wisconsin, but they unveiled a new initiative and showed a sign of solidarity before Friday night’s Blue-White scrimmage at MetLife Stadium.
Players and coaches assembled in two lines across from each other at midfield, locked arms and held a lengthy moment of silence after a video featuring owner John Mara played on the scoreboard explaining the purpose of their “Together Blue” campaign for the 2020 season.
“The state of this country, I’m not comfortable. Nobody is comfortable. … My teammates, we’re not comfortable,” linebacker Lorenzo Carter said afterward, bypassing an initial question about the scrimmage. “And this isn’t OK, whatever is going on.
“I just feel like this country is divided and we have to use our platforms and our voices as black men and as athletes and influencers. Anybody that has a voice needs to use it, not just black, not just white, Latino, everybody. We have to come together.”
Carter, who unofficially had 4.5 sacks of Daniel Jones in dominating the first half of Friday’s scrimmage, added that he “honestly can’t even think about football right now.”
Instead, the third-year pro out of Georgia said he spent “the whole day” thinking about Friday being the 57th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s “I Have A Dream” speech.
“We’re still dealing with the same things, and that’s not right,” Carter said. “We should be further ahead as a country, we should be further ahead as a people. … I just know this team, these people, these men, we’re gonna do everything within our power to make sure that we bring about real change. We’re not gonna stop. Locking arms at the 50-yard before a scrimmage, that’s not it, that’s a small gesture. We have a lot more to do, a lot more work.
“We’re doing more than just talking. We stand with the NBA, with MLB, with MLS, we stand with all professional athletes that are making their voice heard and using their platform for positive change and for peace and for justice.”
Carter, 24, also stressed he doesn’t “want to be in the same situation my father was in, my grandfather was in” before and during his childhood in Georgia.
“I’m tired of it. Enough is enough,” Carter said. “We can’t let fear and division continue to manifest itself in this country. … We’ve got to come together and we’ve got to do it together.”
Evan Engram, Saquon Barkley, Sterling Shepard, Daniel Jones, Dalvin Tomlinson and Nate Ebner appeared in the Giants’ video message, which concluded with Mara saying “together we make a difference.”
The Giants said the purpose of their community-outreach campaign — which breaks the team into nine groups involving nine local organizations — is “to unify and reinforce how togetherness will be collective and unwavering among Giants fans, players, coaches and the front office this season.”
The nine partner organizations will be United Way of NYC, Far Rockaway Colts (NYPD), New York City Police Foundation, RISE, Bronx Defenders, Eva’s Village, East Orange Mayor’s Office, My Sisters’ Place and Covenant House.
The players also wore a helmet decal Friday of the community group they are working with as part of the Together Blue program.