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Amid civil unrest, Packers players speak out, hope for change
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Amid civil unrest, Packers players speak out, hope for change

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GREEN BAY — Like so many others in America, Davante Adams has been watching on television as nationwide unrest has unfolded in the wake of the death of George Floyd, who died while in police custody a week ago in Minneapolis.

The now ex-officer who pressed his knee on the back of Floyd’s neck for roughly nine minutes, including for several minutes after Floyd was unresponsive, has been fired, arrested and charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter. The three other officers who were on the scene and did not intervene have also been fired and could also face charges. Protests that began in the Twin Cities have now spread throughout the country, including in Madison, Milwaukee and Green Bay.

And for Adams, the Green Bay Packers No. 1 wide receiver, seeing how the past week has played out has been too much. An infrequent user of his Twitter account, Adams has spoken out in a series of posts over the last few days.

“We (are) fighting a war that I’m not sure we will ever come out on top of,” Adams wrote in one Tweet. “(B)ut I know I and hopefully everybody with the right mindset will keep fighting for equality. I’m optimistic things will be better one day. Constantly praying for it.”

As for the rioting, looting and violent clashes with law enforcement that has accompanied many of the initially peaceful protests, Adams wrote, “Not every response to this continued injustice and racism has been 100% positive and productive. (B)ut until my people stop being murdered by those paid to protect and serve for simply being black, I’m focused on that.”

Safety Adrian Amos, in a Zoom video conference call with Wisconsin reporters late last week, emphasized the need for much of the talk involving inequality and racism must be turned into meaningful action.

“We’re seeing a lot of situations like (Floyd’s death) repeat itself,” Amos said. “It’s a sensitive subject for a lot of people, but I think it’s something that needs to be more than just talked about. We need to start coming up with different solutions to avoid situations where people are losing their lives.”

Center Corey Linsley, who rarely uses social media, posted his thoughts late Monday afternoon, indicating that fellow offensive linemen Billy Turner and Yosh Nijman spoke to their teammates during a Zoom call with the rest of the team earlier Monday. (LINK: https://twitter.com/Linsley71/status/1267561341700780034?s=20)

Linsley’s post focused on the need for change and suggested ways that all Americans can affect that change. Linsley, who is white, said Turner and Nijman, who are black, enlightened the players who were on the call.

“I, just like everyone else, have not been and continue to not be a perfect person. I’ve held unfounded beliefs and thought ignorant thoughts. The older I’ve gotten, the more people I’ve met, the more I’ve tried to learn,” Linsley wrote. “It’s always okay to admit you’re wrong and to grow. This is the people’s country. Continue to educate yourself and continue to want the best for our country.”

Turner, who grew up in a Twin Cities suburb, posted a separate video message on his Instagram account, saying in part, “If you cut me, I will bleed. And what color is that blood? That blood is red. Just like the blood that circulates through every human on this planet — no matter their race, their nationality, their ethnicity. … People who look like me, why does that offend people? Why does that make them nervous? What is it about the color of my skin or the texture of my hair that threatens people?”

Taylor restructures

Veteran guard Lane Taylor, who missed most of last season with a ruptured biceps after holding off rookie Elgton Jenkins’ challenge for his starting job, has restructured the final year of his contract. The adjustment gave the Packers nearly $3 million in additional salary-cap space. They now have $13.9 million in cap room.

Taylor, who was set to earn a 2020 base salary of $3.8 million, will now have a base salary of $910,000, although he can recoup the money he gave up via incentives.

Stepaniak signs

The Packers announced the signing of one of their three sixth-round picks, Indiana guard Simon Stepaniak. He was one of three offensive linemen selected with those three sixth-round selections.

The Packers now have three of their nine picks under contract, with Stepaniak joining the team’s two seventh-round picks, Miami (Fla.) outside linebacker Jonathan Garvin and TCU defensive back Vernon Scott.

Given they seem to be working their way up from the bottom of their draft, Oregon center Jake Hanson and Michigan guard/tackle Jon Runyan Jr. should be the next two picks to sign.

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