Usually when a players-only meeting is held within a sports organization whether collegiate or professional, it is usually the result of either lackluster on-field performance or some sort of internal strife within the program.
But when members of the Louisville Football program held one prior to Thursday's practice, the game in which they play was not a topic of discussion.
At that point, the NBA, MLB, NFL, NHL and college teams around the country had postponed games & practices to protest racial inequality, sparked by the shooting of Jacob Blake - an unarmed black man shot seven times in the back by police in Kenosha, Wisc.
With having seen numerous accounts of social inequalities throughout the summer, Blake's shooting was a tipping point for the many members of the team, and they wanted to hold a the meeting to vent their frustrations.
"It went pretty good. A lot of people got what they wanted to say off their chest," senior inside linebacker CJ Avery said. "We talked about the social & racial injustice, things thats going on. A lot of players are happy that we had that meeting."
Avery says that a large portion of the meeting coming together as a team to make a change, and searching for ways to accomplish it. The Grenada, Miss. native believes they have a large platform as players at the University of Louisville, and he wants to use it "the right way"
What was not brought up was if they should skip practice or not in support of social injustice protests, as Kentucky had done earlier that day. Instead, Avery believes that the team can balance both football and social advocacy.
We want to go and get better, that's what we're here to do. We're here to play football," Avery said. “We are aware of all the things that are going on in the world, it’s just a balance of doing what you have to do and what you have to focus on as well."
Head coach Scott Satterfield thought the players-only meeting was a great opportunity for his players to speak freely and not hold their tongue if coaches were in the room.
He entered the room after the players-only meeting was over to continue some of the dialogue, and also met with some of the leaders of the team earlier in the day. It was one of many instances over the summer in which the Cardinals have gotten in front of issues pertaining to social & racial injustices.
Louisville will return to the practice fields on Friday at 4:00pm EST, and are set to kickoff the season against the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers on Saturday, Sept. 12 at Cardinal Stadium.
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