CR’s Duron Harmon speaks up with Lions

DETROIT — Right away, said Duron Harmon, he could tell there was an uneasiness among his teammates.

By last Tuesday, the news about the shooting of Jacob Blake in Wisconsin had already starting sinking in for the Detroit Lions.

Duron Harmon

“Just coming into the building this morning was tough,” Harmon, the Caesar Rodney High grad, said last week. “You just try to fathom how a situation like that can escalate into something like.”

Before Tuesday was over, the Lions had canceled practice to bring attention to the shooting and to call for social justice.

It was considered the first sports demonstration of the week and helped spawn more cancellations in the sports world over the next coming days.

Harmon said he’s really taken the moment to heart. The veteran safety said the Lions had a team meeting where some players really opened up.

“That conversation really went everywhere,” Harmon told reporters in a media session. “People were talking about experiences to people just talking about their feelings toward the tragic event that took place on Sunday.

“After we got done that meeting, conversations started in the locker room. Everybody was gathered around and we were trying to figure out what we can do to not only bring light to the situation and how it’s wrong. … but how can we, as a team, create change — not only among ourselves but among the communities — so that when things like this happen, we’re speaking on it and putting the pressure on officials to do the right thing.”

After seven seasons with the Patriots, Harmon is in his first year with the Lions after an off-season trade. But it’s hardly surprising that he’s already considered one of the Lions’ leaders.

The 29-year-old from Magnolia quickly became something of an “elder statesman” with the Patriots. He’s spoken out on other issues over the years.

Harmon said the Lions had also discussed trying to make a statement when George Floyd was killed earlier but they weren’t together as a team at the time.

“Today was a tipping point,” he said last week. “I mean, why wait to do something? There’s so many great leaders on the team. … guys that really came out there and said, ‘We’re going to do something today.’

“Today, practice wasn’t on any of our minds. What was on our mind was just a tragic event. … Nobody on this team is OK with it. We’re going to do our part to create change.”

Harmon said he can’t rule out the possibility of more sports demonstrations, especially as the NFL season begins in two weeks. He talked about the situation with Peter King of NBC’s Football Morning in America.

“Nothing is ever too much when you’re fighting for basic equality, basic human rights,” Harmon was quoted. “Nothing is off the table. Can I sit here and say we’ll boycott games? I can’t say that. We’ll get to a decision like that when we get there.

“It’s a fluid situation. We don’t know what’s going to happen. We don’t know if there’s going to be another unarmed black man murdered by police. Resisting arrest does not deserve the death penalty. Resisting arrest should not get you seven bullets in the back. I can tell you this: We’re not going to stop. We’re not going away.”