Former Detroit Lions running back Joique Bell, who remains very much involved in his native Benton Harbor community, organized an event called the Belle Isle Peace March with Ken Snapp taking place Friday afternoon. Dave Birkett from the Detroit Free Press wrote about how it got started and asked Bell for perspective on the purpose of the event:
“It isn’t just a march just to say we did it,” Bell said. “It’s to march and then to start a dialogue and to bridge that gap with the civilians who are Detroit citizens and also with the local police and the state police, and ultimately kind of be the staple of this is how you should go about creating a change.”
The Wayne State Warrior talks about his life’s interactions with the police in Birkett’s article, from growing up with family members and friends who worked for law enforcement to a tense encounter while playing for the Lions. It is a fine piece of reporting by Birkett, showing where the march’s message comes from in Bell’s first-hand experience:
“But you could tell, he was a younger cop and the other cop was older and probably had seniority over him. He knew it was wrong, he just didn’t say anything. That’s why we need to step up and step out.”
Ultimately, that’s what Bell hopes to accomplish with the march, to work with law enforcement to create change.
“(We’re walking with police) to show solidarity, to show that police are not for police brutality, they are not for what’s going on with the African-Americans in this country,” Bell said. “That they’re standing with us and they hear us cry and that they’re supporting us and that they’re walking with us. And this is just the start. Like I told you, this is just going to help us create that dialogue, to get that seat at the table to bring forth change. And eventually demand police reform.”
You can read the entire article on the Free Press’ site. As mentioned by Bell in the article, the march organizers contacted Bob Quinn and Rod Wood from the Lions, who are supporting the event:
This Friday, March for peace during the Belle Isle Peace March. Participants will silently cross the MacArthur bridge on and back off of Belle Isle. The March will begin at the Gabriel Richard Park just before the bridge.#BelleIslePeaceMarch2020 #BlackLivesMatter pic.twitter.com/OUNiPW3oIw— Detroit Lions (@Lions) June 4, 2020
And now, on to the rest of today’s Notes:
- Offensive tackle Tyrell Crosby shared a great message he received from his uncle:
My uncle, a retired Colonel in the Army sent me this two years ago. I can confidently say it still holds strong today. pic.twitter.com/4L6y1LXlaf— Tyrell Crosby (@Tyrellcrosby) June 4, 2020
- Fellow offensive lineman Oday Aboushi, whose family does a lot of great things helping others in New York, was a guest on Jim Rome’s radio show on Tuesday. The audio from the 14-minute interview is available online at the show’s site. Among the items discussed was food assistance to Harlem in the form of 35,000 pounds of fresh fruits and vegetables:
What a day in our city! We were able to deliver 35,000lbs of food (25lbs per box) all through out Harlem. We appreciate the helping hands that took apart in the process. Times like these won’t break us but make us! @pcny @tahanienyc @abushi @nypd @4mycity.us #strongertogether pic.twitter.com/6UajRSB1dp— Oday Aboushi (@Oday_Aboushi75) May 28, 2020
Here’s a picture of the second shipment, posted this past Wednesday:
Wonderful work by Oday Aboushi, his sister Tahanie, and PCNY.
- The Detroit Free Press’ Dave Birkett spoke to Detroit Lions scout and former NFL linebacker Roman Phifer about “the hurdles black men face with police.” Phifer began his career with the Los Angeles Rams in 1991, the year right before the Rodney King Riots.
- Remember when Big Play Slay was inviting young defensive backs in the Detroit area to work on their craft with him? Even if he is no longer with the Lions, he’s still doing it (h/t to @mikerothstein):
Blessed to use my platform to help kids be a better player✊ https://t.co/YKYZE24shc— Darius Slay (@bigplay24slay) June 4, 2020
- A story by Adam Winkler at WTKR3 in North Carolina has some context for a twitter post by Lions wide receiver Travis Fulgham:
"Our 2016 team tried to stand up for something but got shut down."— Adam Winkler (@AdamWinkSports) June 3, 2020
Multiple sources allege head coach Bobby Wilder 'hijacked' the @ODUFootball team's Black Lives Matter movement in 2016.
Our @WTKR3 story: https://t.co/QFIBCNXst9 pic.twitter.com/vbTsmKqVEe
- An important notice from running backs coach Kyle Caskey:
If you are in need of food during these trying times, please find one of the SIX drive up food distribution sites that @Gleaners has up and running today, Friday, June 5.— Kyle Caskey (@CoachKyleCaskey) June 5, 2020
Detroit (2 locations), Highland Park, Centerline, Southfield & Wyandotte#EndHunger https://t.co/dnUUfqSRoO