New York Giants head coach Ben McAdoo showed the movie "Detroit," a film that is based on Detroit's 12th Street race riots in 1967, to his team on Tuesday as a lesson in empathy, the New York Daily News' Pat Leonard writes.
The film, which premiered worldwide on Aug. 4, is based off the riots in Detroit that took place 50 years ago when 43 people died, 342 people were injured and approximately 1,400 buildings were burned as racial tensions grew.
While McAdoo, according to Leonard, intended to show the players the movie more than a week ago, he did so in the days following the violent white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, that left one woman dead and nearly 20 others injured.
"It's definitely sad to see what's going on," Giants offensive lineman Justin Pugh told Leonard. "McAdoo would always say our country is not perfect; there are things going on that are issues. ... We watched a movie the other night, which was good for the team to watch and see what's going on. It's definitely a touchy subject."
Several NFL players, from Malcolm Jenkins of the Philadelphia Eagles to Michael Bennett of the Seattle Seahawks, have protested social injustice in the U.S. during the national anthem. Jenkins raised his fist in Thursday's preseason game, while Bennett sat for the anthem.
"Seeing everything in Virginia and stuff that is going on," Bennett said, according to the Seattle Times' Bob Condotta, "I just wanted to be able to use my platform to continuously speak out on injustice."