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Ravens release statement calling for new laws, arrests

It is now the official stance of a National Football League franchise that specific law enforcement officers in Kentucky and Wisconsin are arrested and charged with crimes.

It had been a common criticism of athlete-led protests earlier this summer and again this week -- especially in light of the NBA playoff strike -- that these young men and women were demonstrating without a specific set of objectives in mind.

Enter the Baltimore Ravens.

On Thursday, the Ravens released what is essentially a policy paper of laws they want passed and moves they want made.

"Though we cannot right all the wrongs of our country's history," the team said, "we can:"

-- Arrest and charge the police officers responsible for Breonna Taylor's killing and the shooting of Jacob Blake.

-- Demand that Senator Mitch McConnell bring the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act of 2020 to the Senate floor for a vote.
-- End qualified immunity; require body cameras; ban chokeholds and no-knock warrants; hold police accountable in court; establish a framework to prohibit racial profiling at federal, state and local levels.

-- Support state- and federally-mandated CALEA Accreditation and national standards of care in policing.

-- Encourage everyone to engage in the political process by registering to vote both on the local and national level.

-- Demand sentencing reform that is fair and equitable.

-- Encourage every citizen to act with respect and compliance when engaging with the police.

The Ravens practiced Thursday but will not practice on Friday. "We have cancelled this morning’s scheduled practice in order to perform a team unifying session surrounding social justice reform," the team said.

After that, the assumption is the team will get back on the field this weekend in preparation for their Sept. 13 season opener.

This week, though, showed that a team can bring the sporting world to a halt to get their voices heard. The Ravens have given no indication they will some day follow the Bucks' lead, but you know it had to cross the players' mind at some point during this unprecedented week.

And if that ever happens, no one will ever have to question what specific goals the Ravens would be protesting for.