The New York Giants have not yet decided what they want to do as a form of protest in the aftermath of police shootings involving George Floyd and Jacob Blake, but one potential option is the boycott of a regular season game.
Although nothing has been finalized, both wide receiver Sterling Shepard and running back Saquon Barkley say it’s an option being discussed.
“We’ll talk to the team, and come up with something, and that will be that,” Shepard said on the possibility of boycotting a game.
“I definitely commend [them] for doing that,” Barkley said of the NBA and WNBA canceling games. “I commend them for standing up, using their platform, and using their voice.”
Shepard called the shooting of Blake, which left the 29-year-old paralyzed from the waist down, “senseless.” For Barkley, it brought back memories of an incident his father had with police officers.
“Words really can’t describe how you feel,” Barkley said. “It makes you sick, especially being a Black man. You see those situations happening — and continue to happen. It’s just sad. You look at it like: What if that was my brother? You could lose someone that you really care about.
“I know my father went through a similar situation, when I was in college. Situations like this, you could lose someone. You can’t look at it as Jacob Blake, what if it were me? What if it were Shep? Or one of my brothers?”
While most sports teams and leagues have decided to either cancel practices or games the past two days, the Giants have pressed forward with their practice schedule.
However, that could change on Friday night depending on how upcoming meetings play out. Currently, the Giants are slated to hold an intrasquad scrimmage at MetLife Stadium, but head coach Joe Judge left the door open for that to change.
“Right now we’re planning on having the scrimmage tomorrow,” Judge said. “I spoke briefly with the leadership council today. We’re going to continue conversations later this today. We have some gaps in our schedule. We’re treating this as the day before a game, so it’s what we would do on a Saturday before a Sunday game.
“We have a chunk of time before our evening meetings before we kick off evening meetings. We’re letting the players think about what they want to do. We’re going to have conversations as a coaching staff, and ownership tonight, and we’ll have more answers.”
As far as the team owners, both John Mara and Steve Tisch have been heavily involved and supportive of their players.
“John’s been active since the spring, in terms of voicing his support for them,” Judge said. “John’s been a key figure, him and Steve [Tisch]. They’ve been active and present in meetings, whether it’s in Zoom, or now that we’ve had a chance to meet in person together.”
What the Giants ultimately decide on remains up in the air, but the entire team is prepared to make a statement in whatever form it is they decide to protest.