PITTSBURGH -- Mike Tomlin opened his Thursday press conference addressing the country's current state following the shooting of Jacob Blake by a Kenosha, Wisconsin police officer.
Throughout the day, several NFL teams, including AFC North opponent Baltimore Ravens, canceled practice to reflect on the situation and movement over the summer.
The Steelers decided to practice. Tomlin said the team didn't consider canceling practice but spent time having conversations on how the organization can support the cause.
"As a football team, we also talked about some things that are going on from a social justice perspective or had continued conversations there," Tomlin said. "Like I've mentioned to you guys several times through the course of this, we desire to have an impact more so than statements. We want to be proactive in our behavior and our thoughts."
Tomlin detailed some of the ways the coaches and players have becoming creating that impact he mentioned. Actions from the players and staff include voter registration and meeting with local law enforcement.
"We're just engaging with our community and trying to find ways to create conversation, to utilize a platform that we have in a very positive way, and those are just some of the many things we have ongoing," Tomlin said. "We have social justice committees where guys have an opportunity to sign up and participate in areas that are personal passions of theirs. That's what we are trying to do as an organization. We are trying to find or trying to provide a suite of services that are in line with the individual and collective passions of our men to aid them in the process of being positive contributors to what's going on from a societal standpoint."
Overall, the team will continue to work for solutions and actions of support from the organization.
Tomlin's mindset has stayed consistent throughout the growth of the Black Lives Matter movement. The coach is looking to carefully plan he and his players' approach to helping.
He's aware it needs to be executed correctly, or the message can be altered.
"Like I've said many times, they will continue to be supported by us as long as their efforts are done thoughtfully and with class," Tomlin said. "I'm excited about continuing to grow in that area as is our football team and have an understanding of our platform and utilize it in a very positive and constructive way but also understand that we're targets. Our perspectives and our opinions can be weaponized for agendas or against us. We want to move forward thoughtfully with everything that we do. Like we've mentioned, we are excited about being parts of solutions if we can be, if our blessings allow us to be, if the platform that we have allows us to be."