The opening scene of Tuesday’s episode of “Hard Knocks” was an emotional one, to say the least.
And it had nothing to do with football.
The fourth episode of the HBO series following the Los Angeles Rams and Chargers through training camp this fall showed Rams coach Sean McVay in his office with Artis Twyman, the team’s director of communications.
Twyman showed McVay the video of Jacob Blake being shot in the back by Kenosha, Wisconsin, police for the first time.
McVay watches Jacob Blake video for the first time
Blake, a 29-year-old Black man, was shot in the back multiple times by police in Wisconsin late last month as he tried to get into his car. Video of that incident quickly went viral, sparking widespread protests and condemnation. Blake survived the shooting, but was left paralyzed from the waist down.
The incident resulted in mass walkouts in the sports world, too, starting in the NBA — where the Milwaukee Bucks first refused to take the court for a playoff game in their series with the Orlando Magic last week. Several NFL teams canceled practices last week as a result, too.
The episode on Tuesday starts with McVay watching a news report about the incident before Twyman hands him a cell phone with the video of the shooting pulled up.
Warning: This video contains language that is NSFW. Gunshots from the shooting video can also be heard.
“Are you f--king kidding me?” McVay asked as shots can be heard in the video. “Wait, are you f--king kidding me? He’s walking away from them? … “What the f--k is wrong with people?
“That is awful. That makes me sick.”
McVay was then asked if he would consider canceling practice the next day out of protest, something many teams did both in protest and to talk about it together.
The Rams ended up holding practice normally, but held a team meeting. The Chargers canceled their scrimmage.
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